The Yearbooks of the Estonian Librarians Association 2017
About the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture
The year 2017 was a special one, bringing children and the youth into more focus in our cultural life and encouraging the younger generation to evaluate culture both as creators and an audience. The Year of Children’s and Youth Culture was initiated by the Ministry of Culture and its implementation coordinated by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.
The desire and target of the organisers was to address both children and grown-ups, to combine different fields of culture, generations and areas, and bring together a wide variety of activities for children and young people all over Estonia. The year gave us an opportunity to define the nature of children’s culture in a broader way, and to raise awareness of the importance and responsibility of carrying forward cultural traditions. Everybody knows that by supporting and encouraging our off-spring we ensure a consistent and rich cultural life also for our future generations, and after all, we do have what to pass on to them.
The theme year was accompanied by the slogan Mina ka! (Me, too!) with the keywords self-being and doing things together, and self-doing and being together. A criss-cross of words that highlighted the peculiarities and self-esteem of children, as well as their common activities and creation. An exclamation Mina ka!, for many Estonians first of all associated with a nice children’s song, was in many ways a reminder not to leave the children aside, but to listen to and take notice of them, involving them in their activities and giving them a chance to be independent in their creativity. As the leaders we had the pleasure of recognising that it had worked and a special attention during the Year of Children’s and the Youth Culture was equally paid to both the events and undertakings organised for children and young people and the activities initiated by the children themselves.
A great example was a city festival Tallinn Music Week that this very year for the first time dedicated a special programme to children and young people. Also, the Jazzkaar Festival, that highlighted the suitable concerts for children and young people in their programme. New cooperation bridges were created by a joint project of libraries and museums Raamatukogud-muuseumid-noored (Libraries- Museums - and the Youth). The School of Architecture also contributed to the educational programme of the Year of the Children’s and Youth Culture that in cooperation with the Tagasi kooli (Back to School) initiative invited architects to schools all over Estonia to contemplate the topic of spatial culture in practical workshops. In addition, within the Elamusaasta (the Year of Experience) project young people obtained inspiration for their future from the meetings with professional enthusiasts in their field; the first children’s debates took place at the Opinion Festival; children were involved in the management of several events, etc. The Library Days 2017 Kohtume raamatukogus (Let’s Meet in the Library) also evaluated children and the youth as creators.
The major events of the theme-year programme included the XII Youth Song and Dance Celebration Mina jään (Here I’ll stay) and the experience tour the Children’s Republic dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia; however, the focus of attention and support was also on smaller communal undertakings. The door to the self-propelled programme of the Year of Culture on a large scale was open to everyone and this opportunity was used by many, including libraries.
In the framework of the idea competition of the Year of the Children’s and Youth Culture, 62 various undertakings were given an impetus and support. Altogether 248 ideas were submitted during the two-round contest; libraries, unfortunately, were represented only by eight works. But these few were crowned by a merry street project of the Children’s Department of the Central Library of Lääne County, in the framework of which Haapsalu town was decorated by well-known citations from children’s books.
Among the major events of Estonia 100 and the Year of the Children’s and Youth Culture was the experience tour the Children’s Republic that together with children and their families in a playful way celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 53 places in summer. In cooperation with top specialists and more than 200 partner organisations and contributors this great project became a reality all over Estonia, with more than 30 000 people taking part in the events of the Children’s Republic. 254 workshops were held promoted by museums, libraries and activity centres; despite the weather, kids and grown-ups had a lot of fun on a unique labyrinth-playground. The summer proved that it was possible to play in all weathers, and that big and important undertakings are born in a mood of cooperation. The Children’s Republic was a very emotional journey – we met thousands of children and saw how much joy they got from the load of culture delivered to their home yard. We witnessed much fun and the joy of discovery, received a lot of positive feedback, and felt sincere gratitude. And, above all – the children liked it! The audience appreciated the originality of the activity, its good quality and design and that something very special was created having in mind only children. It was nice to acknowledge that in every corner of Estonia there were some active hobby groups for children and those who worked with children were real enthusiasts. Our children and culture are in good hands.
The Year of the Children’s and Youth Culture was inspiring and instructive. 16 000 children, met at the experience tour Children’s Republic, or spontaneous youth party of the Youth Song and Dance Celebration organised on Freedom Square alone, a thousand times confirmed how much wisdom, bravery, courage, and love for culture our children and the youth had. Directing our faces and thoughts to the future, it is important that we notice and include our children and the youth in this process, and offering cultural programmes to them, act together, thoughtfully, and following the best practice.
This Yearbook has been influenced by the theme year as well, and its articles reviewing children’s service in libraries. But in addition, you can read a voluminous article about methodical work of libraries through decades, to get acquainted with the best librarians and library deeds. The textbook “Information Sciences in Theory and Practice” by the lecturers of Tallinn University is introduced. As usual, a review of the activities of the ELA, ELNET Consortium and the Music Library Association in 2017 is provided.
We would like to thank all those who were involved in the compilation of this Yearbook.
The Children’s Republic
Triin Soone, Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
2017 was the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture of Estonia that focused on the cultural life of children and youngsters encouraging the younger generation to participate in the event both as creators and an audience. The activities of the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture were coordinated by the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre.
The main event of the theme year, the experience tour Laste Vabariik (Children’s Republic), was brought to life in cooperation with the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and the Organising Committee of Estonia 100 at the Government Office to celebrate the centenary of the Republic of Estonia with many children all over Estonia. The idea of the Children’s Republic, which was touring around Estonia from May to September 2017, was to bring a little bit of Estonian children’s culture into every county of Estonia in a way that would address and call to act both children and grown-ups.
Taking into account children’s special interests and skills, in cooperation with good partners a comprehensive and diverse programme and play area were prepared that toured around Estonia in a special custom-made trailer stage. Performances, playgrounds, thematic area, workshops and plenty of other exciting undertakings for children were unfolded in 58 different places of Estonia. The whole families were invited to visit the Children’s Republic. During sixty one days of the tour 1980 children and youngsters performed on the trailer stage. More than 400 young people from local communities contributed over 2000 work hours to the success of the tour. In the programme of the Children’s Republic were also engaged twenty eight public libraries.
Activities of the Children’s Services Committee
Rita Raudsepp, Senior Librarian of the Sindi Town Library, Head of the ELA Children’s Services Committee
Anneli Kengsepp, Development Manager of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
At the beginning of the new millennium there was a situation in Estonia where librarians providing services to children were acting in isolation in their libraries and there were very few common points of contact. The cooperation between our kindergartens and schools was also weakened and practically we were lacking professional training for librarians working with children.
For the first time children’s librarians convened nationwide in Põltsamaa on 29 October 2004. Already the following year the II National Children’s Librarians Day held in Viljandi on 21 September 2005 initiated the establishment of the Children’s Services Committee at the Librarians Association. The Committee has been successfully operating until the present day, uniting eighteen libraries from all over Estonia. In the course of the years many new activities have been launched which by now have become traditions of the Children’s Services Committee. The article provides an overview of the performance of the Children’s Services Committee until the present day.
Methodical work of libraries: the years and the people
Krista Talvi, long-standing librarian, member of ELA
Tiiu Valm, Director of the Viimsi Library
The concept „methodical quidance“ does not probably say anything to the majority of contemporary librarians except that it is a remnant of the Soviet time activities. However, it must be noted that methodical supervisors were primarily engaged in the work organisation problems of the library, in collecting library statistics, drawing up operational analyses, organising professional development activitieses for librarians, giving advice on various library-related issues, etc .
On 2 February 1945, the new statute of the State Library of the Estonian SSR (now National Library of Estonia) defined the tasks of the library as follows: the development and consolidation of librarianship, providing advice on methodical and bibliographic work of libraries and popularising their work experience. Thus the Library Structure Methodical Office (Cabinet) was established.
In 1963, the Methodical Cabinet was renamed Methodical Department. The employees of the Methodical Department of the State Library of the Estonian SSR and the State Inspectorate of Libraries worked in a close cooperation. The organision of methodical work was much facilitated when in spring 1968 the posts of methodical supervisors were created and included in the region public and region children’s libraries. The training of methodical supervisors was provided by the Methodical Department of the State Library. The important aspects of methodical work were library performance analyses, sociological surveys of public library readers, issuing methodological publications, such as Raamatukoguhoidja käsiraamat (Librarian’s Manual), Raamatukogude sõnastik (Library Glossary), Eesti NSV raamatukogud. Teadmik (The Libraries of the Estonian SSR. Directory), a bulletin Huvitavat raamatukogude töös (Interesting Facts in Library Work) that from 1990 bears the name of the journal Raamatukogu (The Library). Also, important methodological-bibliographic publications on Estonian literature classics were issued.
The libraries were regularly inspected and guided on the spot. The analyses of public library reports began in the 1960s, the publishing of reports in 1967.
To improve continuous professional development of librarians, in-service training and intership in Estonian libraries as well as abroad began. Meetings for the heads of acquision departments, senior methodologists of central libraries and other library employees were held.
In 1987, came up an issue Qua vadis, methodical work?
Many stressful meetings were held. The time of rearrangements had begun. In 1991, instead of the Methodical and Research Department the Librarianship Department was formed.
Despite the reorganisations and the change of names that took place over the years, in addition to several important duties, from 1980 the Department on a regular basis arranged in-service training for librarians. From 1990s, the traini ng was systematically carried out within the professional system of the Republic of Estonia. Until October 2017, the Training Centre of the National Library performed professional education of librarians in close cooperation with colleges, associations for the education of adults, the Ministry of Culture, training companies, other libraries, etc.
On 1 October 2017, the Training Centre was liquidated and training activities were delegated to the Development Centre of the Library Service of the National Library.
Activities of the Estonian Librarians Association in 2017
As of 31 December 2017, the Estonian Librarians Association (ELA) united 760 active members, including six honorary members. The activities of the ELA are continually supported by the Harju County Library, Lääne County Central Library, Pärnu Central Library, Valga Central Library, and Viljandi City Library.
In 2017, the membership was decreased by fifteen members: 31 new members joined the Association and 46 members left due to various reasons. The campaign Join the ELA held during the annual meeting and the Library Days brought 23 new members to the Association.
The ELA Board had nine members. They held five meetings; the issues requiring a rapid decision were decided by written voting. The Office of ELA had one employee.
The year 2017 was a busy one; the activities that had already become a tradition were continued.
In 2017, actively performed their duties the following ELA structural units: the sections of Special Libraries, School Libraries and Rural Libraries; the committees of Libraries, Education, Children’s Service, Terminology and Antiquarian Book; the working groups of New Approach and Acquision of Public Libraries; the Retired Librarians Club, the Young Professionals Club, and the Professional Qualification Committee. Tartumaa Kogu (Tartu County Corporation), Võrumaa Ühendus (Võru County Association), and Pärnumaa Ühendus (Pärnu County Association) organised jointed activities in their own regions.
At the general meeting held on 28 February participated 202 ELA members; the quorum together with mandates was 462. Two presentations were delivered at the public meeting Milline on hea raamatukogu? (What is a good library?), which were held on the same day. Leena Aaltonen, Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland, introduced the new Public Library Act that had recently come into force in Finland. Asko Tamme, Vice-President of the ELA, talked about how to evaluate libraries in the Estonian context. To say thank you, at the public meeting the best librarians were granted recognition for their work.
The ELA is a provider of librarian professions. In 2017, the profession was granted to fifteen applicants. Resulting from the expiry of occupational standards, in collaboration with Kutsekoda (The Estonian Qualifications Authority) competence requirements for librarians were analysed; and necessary amendments were made to the earlier approved occupational standards. The working group formed at the Kutsekoda completed the renewed occupational standards for Librarian, level 6, Librarian, level 7, and Librarian level 8 certificates which were approved at Kultuuri Kutsenõukogu (the Professional Council of Culture) on 22 November 2017.
In 2016-2017, the activities of ELA were focused on the quality of public library services. The quality criteria for public libraries were mapped and the tasks of public libraries at different levels described, on the basis of which the working group created a working draft of the model for quality assessment of public library services. In March-April 2017, a pilot project was launched, where nine libraries tested the model and carried out self-assessment. The work was continued in 2018.
In order to stimulate cooperation between libraries, museums, youth institutions and organisations and facilitate the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture, the ELA applied for assistance from the Ministry of Culture and in March 2017 announced a competition of cooperation projects. The aim of the competition was to encourage collaboration of cultural and memory institutions with youth organisations, and involve young people in cultural activities and cultural creativity. In the framework of the competition twelve cooperation projects across Estonia were financed, giving the youth an opportunity to create culture themselves and see the libraries from a different prospective. Altogether, twelve libraries, six museums and seventeen youth centres participated, involving 340 young people. The projects were summarised at a concluding seminar on 6 December.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia a project Sajandi sada raamatukoguhoidjat (Hundred Librarians of the Century) was launched to select the most outstanding Estonian librarians, to raise awareness of and evaluate the profession of librarians in a broader context.
The nationwide Library Days Kohtume raamatukogus (Let’s Meet in the Library) were held 20 - 30 October. In cooperation with the Pärnu Central Library the ELA organised the opening of the Library Days at the Pärnumaa Vocational Education Centre, bringing together 150 librarians from all over Estonia.
In cooperation with the National Library of Estonia the professional journal Raamatukogu (The Library) was being issued. Also, the Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association was published.
Activities of the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network in 2017
Kristina Pai, Executive Director of the Consortium
The Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET) was established in 1996 for the execution of common public interests of libraries. The task of the ELNET Consortium is to manage and develop the E-varamu (E-Repository) portal, integrating nationally important databases: the on-line catalogue ESTER, database of articles ISE, the Estonian Subject Thesaurus, and Estonian research and cultural digital collections. In order to procure essential foreign research databases for Estonian scientists, the ELNETConsortium cooperates with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research,
The ELNET Consortium unites the major Estonian libraries, has nine members and nine partners – altogether 18 libraries and accordingly also many branch and special libraries. All Estonian research libraries are involved (the libraries of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn University of Technology, and the University of Tartu), also the National Library of Estonia, Repository Library of Estonia, and the libraries of Estonian Literary Museum, Art Museum of Estonia, Estonian National Museum, National Archives of Estonia, Eesti Pank (the Bank of Estonia), Estonian Defence Forces, Estonian Academy of Security Forces, and Tallinn University of Applied Sciences. Among the members are also two major public libraries: the Tallinn Central Library and Tartu City Library. Via the online catalogue ESTER the collections of some smaller libraries are also included.
The ELNET has eight working groups (Managers’ Board, working groups on cataloguing and name authority, classification and indexing, database of Estonian articles ISE, joint procurement, digitising activities, E-repository, and statistics (established in 2017), engaging in its activities librarians from many libraries.
The article summarises the activities of the ELNET Consortium in 2017.
Activities of the Estonian Music Library Association in 2017
Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal, President of the Estonian Music Library Association
The Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA) is an organisation which promotes cooperation between music libraries and represents professional interests of librarians. The EMLA is the Estonian national section of IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres) and a member of the Estonian Music Council and the Estonian Music Information Centre. In 2017, the EMLA had 114 members, eleven institutions and three individual members.
During the year the Music Library Association had two larger meetings, both of which turned out to be spirited and inspiring. The annual meeting of the General Assembly took place in the National Library of Estonia on 12 May. The autumn seminar-camp was held at the Mooste manor in Põlva County on 22-23 September, where during two days informative, and at the same time, emotional meetings with some special people took place.
The delegation of EMLA participated in the 66th annual congress of IAML in Riga on 18-22 June.
The articles gives an overview of the activities of the Estonian Music Library Association in 2017.
A weighty argument in the native language information education
Krista Lepik, Lecturer of Information Science, Programme Director of Library and Information Environments, and Curriculum Programme Director of Information and Documentation Management at the University of Tartu
Infoteadused teoorias ja praktikas / S. Virkus, A. Lepik, E. Uverskaja, T. Reimo, S. Metsar, R. Ruusalepp, A. Möldre, M. Laurits. – Tallinn : Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2017. – 726 lk. : ill.
It is not often that a comprehensive textbook comes out in the native language of a small nation, which by the scope of its approach covers almost the entire speciality. Infoteadused teoorias ja praktikas (Information Sciences in Theory and Practice) is no doubt a monumental work, putting together on its 726 pages the most important aspects of information sciences relating to terminology, theories, and the scope of application. The structure of the textbook is logical, directing the reader gradually from the fundamentals of information science (terminology, the history of development and underlying problems) to practical issues.
The textbook is a useful instrument for students getting aquanted with the speciality or for anyone who can individually take a look at the key texts of the subject field of interest. It is a useful base material for studies to familiarise them with important terminology and approaches. The textbook can be browsed through by those interested in self-development or just by curious practitioners. The book can also be a good aid to professional lecturers: providing them with the fundamentals, it nevertheless gives the user a creative freedom to approach the topics treated in the textbook according to the regular training basics.
The textbook Infoteadused teoorias ja praktikas has filled an essential gap in the professional Estonian language literature.