The Yearbooks of the Estonian Librarians Association 2016


Dear reader,
You are holding the 2016 Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association (ELA).

The year 2016 will go down in the history of ELA as the year of active cooperation and communication. Through the meetings with the Estonian members of the European Parliament and the forwarded appeals, the good level of the Estonian libraries was acknowledged. Participation in the discussions at the Baltic and Nordic Library Associations conference in Lithuania and at the IFLA congress in the United States enabled the representatives of our association to compare the activities of the associations in different countries.

The vision document “The 21st Century Library” was one of the community projects that was further developed. Completed at the end of 2015 as a result of great cooperation project led by ELA, this cross-library type document analyses the current state of Estonian librarianship and the future trends influencing the area while pointing out the main strategic directions of development. In 2016, this document formed the basis for describing the service provided in public libraries in a more detailed and multi-layered way. An overview of the completion process of the document essential to Estonian librarianship will be given by Katre Riisalu, the president of the ELA.

In April 2016, twenty years passed since the formation of one of the important joint projects of Estonian libraries, Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET). The anniversary was celebrated with the conference “ELNET 20” which showcased visionaries in the field from Estonia and abroad. A comprehensive overview about the activities of ELNET during the 20 years can be read from the article by Mare-Nelli Ilus and Riin Olonen.

The future of the librarianship depends on the library employees’ abilities to satisfy the needs of the readers as well as how successful they are in mediating information and developing the services. In 2016, 15 libraries from the Association of European Research Libraries LIBER, including University of Tartu Library and Tallinn University of Technology Library, conducted an international reader survey. The survey was based on LibQUAL+ methodology and studied user satisfaction with the library staff, the availability of information, and the physical space of the library. Kristina Pai and Aiki Tibar provide further information about the survey, its results, and possible comparisons with other European scientific libraries in their article.

Estonian public universities have participated in different Erasmus Mundus global learning and international mobility programmes for years. Although library employees have also taken part in these programmes, they could participate in the scholarship programmes more frequently. Kate-Riin Kont shares her experience of how different projects can be used.

The Yearbook traditionally introduces the best librarians and library deeds of the year, and covers the activities of the ELA, ELNET Consortium and the Estonian Music Library Association.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the compilation of the Yearbook and provided their comprehensive articles.


Editorial board


The library of the 21st century – future vision of Estonian librarians

Katre Riisalu, President of the Estonian Librarians Association

The future of libraries has been considered repeatedly. In Estonia, the issue of the network of public libraries emerged on the agenda already in 1919. Even then it was realised that performers of the public libraries network were the state and municipalities together with local communities. In newly independent Estonia, it was not long before the compilation of development plans started. In 1990, under the guidance of the ELA the development conception of Estonian libraries was completed; in 1998, the general principles of Estonian cultural policy were approved; and during the time in office of Signe Kivi, the Minister of Culture, the Development Plan for Libraries for 2000-2002 was put together. In the year 2000, the Ministry of Culture ordered the development plan for Estonian research libraries from the PW Partners. At present the library landscape is influenced by the General Principles of the Cultural Policy up to 2020 specifying the most important development priorities for libraries.

In 2015, the ELA started to draw up a vision document The Library of the 21st Century with the aim of analysing the current situation of Estonian librarianship and future trends affecting this area, to agree on the main strategic developments. During the process it was important to jointly raise awareness of and formulate the challenges and problematic issues that needed to be solved.

The document determined six principal fields of activities, to be followed during the coming years, which are interrelated, form an integrated circuit and are characteristic of all types of libraries. The necessity to describe the basic service of the library and to organise the library network, as well as the transformation of libraries into multifunctional centres were pointed out as the priorities of Estonian librarianship for the coming years. All this requires competent specialists and efficient cooperation between libraries.

The vision document covering all types of libraries serves as a starting point to continue discussions in a more detailed and specific way and formulate significant agreements. Thus a year later, in autumn 2016, a working group of representatives from public libraries was convened. Its aim was to describe the services provided by public libraries more precisely and diversely. The mission of Estonian libraries was articulated as follows – to contribute to the formation of cultured and educated people who could live their lives successfully. The public libraries contribute to this by developing the reading habits of people, by supporting life-long learning, and ensuring access to information, knowledge and cultural content.

20 years of the Estonian Libraries Network Consortium

Mare-Nelli Ilus, Executive Director, ELNET Consortium
Riin Olonen, Development Manager, ELNET Consortium

In the yearly 1990s, the major libraries of Estonia began to search opportunities for cataloguing books online. It was understood that to achieve common goals an organisation that would enable the libraries efficiently communicate and strengthen their cooperation was needed.

A meeting to create a non-profit organisation, Estonian Libraries Network Consortium (ELNET), was held by its founding members - the National Library of Estonia, the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Agricultural University, the Library of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn Pedagogical University, and the Estonian Literary Museum - at the end of 1995. The official date of the establishment of ELNET is 4 April 1996.

As of 1 January 2017, the Consortium had nine members and nine partners.

The integrated online catalogue ESTER has become the first and most voluminous joint activity project of the Consortium involving all its members and partners. In the year 2000, joint procurements of research information for research libraries were added to the activities of the Consortium. In 2009, the database of Estonian articles ISE (Index Scriptorum Estoniae) and the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (EMS) were put into operation. In 2010, the Consortium participated in the creation of the joint application Estonian e-Repository and Conservation of Collections (the first stage) that was presented to the Estonian Research Infrastructure Roadmap and was positively assessed by specialists. The task of the Consortium in this project is the creation of a joint environment, the Estonian e-repository portal, and making it available for information seekers.

The Estonian e-repository portal was opened to its users at the Vision Conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Consortium in April 2016.

LibQUAL reader satisfaction survey to improve library services at the University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology

Kristina Pai, University of Tartu Library, Director of Collection Development
Aiki Tibar, Tallinn University of Technology Library, Research and Development Officer

In 2016, fifteen member libraries of the Association of European Research Libraries LIBER, among them the University of Tartu Library and the Tallinn University of Technology Library, conducted a reader survey using the LibQUAL+ methodology. The survey examined user satisfaction with library staff, information availability, and the library as a space (twenty two core questions), and five questions fitting in with the LIBER strategy. Respondents assessed services using a 9-point scale in the following categories: the minimum, desired, and the perceived level of service quality. On the basis of respondents’ assessments gaps between minimum expectations and the perceived level, as well as between the perceived level and the desired level of service quality were identified.

The survey results concerning twenty two core questions reveal that the perceived level of satisfaction as compared with other LIBER libraries was higher at the Tallinn University of Technology Library (TUTL) and the University of Tartu Library (UTL).

According to the overall results of LIBER libraries, the minimum expectations of respondents were somewhat higher, but the assessments of the perceived and desired levels lower than at the TUTL and the UTL. Based on the LIBER results, the respondents’ satisfaction with information availability and the library as a physical space was lower as compared with the Estonian libraries; however, the assessment of the perceived level of library staff skills was closer to the desired level. The most satisfied with the physical environment of the library were the respondents of the TUTL survey.

The respondents were most critical about information availability, with the lowest gap between the perceived and desired levels at the TUTL and the highest at the UTL. The expectations of UTL users were higher in regard to the availability of both printed and e-information resources.

Some questions related to the LIBER Consortium (research evaluation support, e.g. via bibliometrics or other assessment; promoting open access publications; facilitating research data management; advising on copyright and other issues) show that the TUTL has better managed to meet the minimum expectations of respondents. The satisfaction with up-to-date teaching is the highest at the TUL. At the same time, the overall results of the LIBER libraries show that gaps between the perceived and desired levels are lower in the questions concerning advising on copyright issues, facilitating research data management, and research evaluation. The expectations of the respondents of the TUL and the TUTL in connection with the above-mentioned questions are higher.

Based on the TUL and TUTL surveys and the overall results of the LIBER Consortium, it can be positively stated that across all the questions the mean ratings given by respondents to the perceived level remained in the zone of tolerance, i.e. between the minimum acceptable and the desired levels. The overall quality of library services was rated highly - the mean points at the TUTL 7,80; at the TUL 7,64; and 7,45, according to the LIBER overall results.

Free responses revealed a very positive attitude towards library staff (competent, polite, helpful, etc.). The respondents were more critical about the opening hours at the TUTL. Criticised were also computers and network connections (computers could be more up to date and the network faster). The users wished to have more possibilities for individual and team work. According to some readers, both the TUL and the TUTL are the best libraries in Estonia.

Learning mobility opportunities for the staff of university libraries

Kate-Riin Kont, Head of the Acquisition Department, Tallinn University of Technology Library

Since 2009 the Estonian universities governed by public law have participated in different Erasmus Mundus global programmes of learning mobility and international mobility. For instance, Tallinn University of Technology participates in such programmes as Interweave, Eurica, Ember, AREAS +. Erasmus Mundus Action 1 offered learning mobility for the years 2009-2013; and Erasmus Mundus Action 2 provides learning mobility for the years 2014-2017.

A big advantage of Erasmus Mundus programmes is the fact that students of very different study levels, academic employees as well as administrative staff can participate. Most programmes allow students to choose between several exchange periods that can be either one semester, one academic year or passing the entire study level at the partner university. For employees, however, mainly one-month exchange programmes are designed; except for the Ember project that provides employees with an exchange period of three months.

This article gives an overview of the author’s learning mobility with the Interweave and Eurica projects to Bhutan and Honduras. In addition, the article introduces the scholarship programme ITEC of the Indian Republic and its opportunities. The aim of the article is to encourage both the university staff and library colleagues to feel more confident about using the offered scholarship programmes.

Activities of the Estonian Librarians Association in 2016

The year 2016 will go down in the history of the ELA as the year of active cooperation and communication. The appeals and meetings with the Estonian members of the European Parliament acknowledged a good level of Estonian libraries as well as problems related to borrowing e-books from libraries. The participation of representatives from different associations in discussions at the Baltic and Nordic Library Conference in Lithuania and the IFLA Conference in Columbus gave us a comparison possibility and a wider picture of the activities of different countries’ associations. It was important to move on from the communal projects to the vision document The Library of the 21st Century that focused on the improvement of public library services.

By far the biggest and the most traditional undertaking of the Association was the opening of the Library Days that brought to the newly opened National Museum of Estonia (ERM) a record number of librarians from all over Estonia. Via the Õpetajate Leht (Teachers’ Newspaper) cooperation opportunities of schools and libraries were introduced. Volunteering together gives more opportunities to all of us; contributing to the best of our ability to collective work we enlarge our sense of community.

As of 31 December 2016, the Estonian Librarians Association had 775 active members, incl six honorary members. The Harju County Library, the Lääne County Central Library, the Valga Central Library, the Viljandi City Library, the Lääne-Virumaa Central Library, and the Rapla Central Library acted as associate members; the Pärnu Central Library joined the ELA in 2016.

In 2016 the number of members was reduced by sixteen: 34 new members joined and due to different reasons 49 members left the ELA. The campaign Join the ELA during the annual meeting and the Library Days brought in 27 new members.

The nine-member Board had five meetings; issues that needed to be urgently resolved were four times decided by written voting. The Office of ELA had one paid employee.

198 ELA members participated in the general meeting held on 9 March; the quorum together with mandates was 440. The meeting approved the annual report of the activities of the Estonian Librarians Association in 2015, its financial report, and the development trends for 2016. The heads of structural units of ELA made a brief review of their activities. Also, the document The Library of the 21st Century was approved (see

The sections of Special Libraries, School Libraries, and Rural Libraries; the committees of Collection Management, Education, Children’s Library Services, Terminology, and the Antiquarian Book; the working groups of New Approach and Acquisition of Public Libraries; the Club of Retired Librarians, the Young Professionals Club; and the Professional Qualifications Committee - all these structural units were actively involved in the doings of the ELA in 2016. Tartu County, Võru County, and Pärnu County organised their joint activities in their own region.

The ELA considers it important to appreciate the library profession, to recognise and promote librarians working in different libraries. The acknowledgement of librarians was supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the Ministry of Culture. Librarians were granted the ELA Prize for Merits and the ELA Annual Prize; also the title of the Rural, School, and Children’s Librarian of the Year; the Research Library, Special Library, and Town Library Deed of the Year; the Journalist Award, and the Friend of the Library Award. The Bibliography Award was given out together with the Tallinn University Academic Library supported by the Cultural Endowment.

The ELA is a provider of professional qualifications up to the year 2018. 21 applications were submitted in 2016. The Professional Qualifications Committee was convened on 26 September. It was decided to give professional qualification, level 6, to 16 librarians; three applicants achieved level 7. Professional qualification, librarian, level 8 was granted for the first time. Professional qualification certificates are registered in the National Vocational Register and are valid seven years.

Six issues of the professional journal of librarianship, Raamatukogu, were published by the National Library of Estonia and the ELA. The publishing of the journal was supported by the Cultural Endowment. Two yearbooks 2014/26 and 2015/27 came out of print and are also included in the digital archive Digar.

Activities of the Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET) Consortium 2016

Mare-Nelli Ilus, Executive Director, ELNET Consortium
Riin Olonen, Development Manager, ELNET Consortium

As of 31 December 2016, the ELNET Consortium had nine members and nine partners. In 2016, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and the National Archives of Estonia joined the Consortium as partners.

The major activities in the online catalogue ESTER in 2016 were connected with the development of the user registration and authentification system (KRAS), a further supplement to the online catalogue ESTER; the integration of new members into the information system; and the loading of the online catalogue data into the E-Repository portal.

The capacity of the online catalogue (as of 31 December 2016) was all in all 3 041 070 titles and 9 527 681 copies (annual growth respectively 47 304 titles and 238 229 copies)

The procurement of electronic research databases for university libraries was carried out as planned.

After many years of preparation works the E-Repository portal was opened within the Vision Conference in April 2016. The portal integrates digital information of different databases providing the description of digital material and links to original data. The software of the portal was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS (Fraunhofer IAIS). During the year the interfacing of data sources was continued.

The year 2016 was the ELNET Consortium jubilee year, 20 years passed since the foundation of the Consortium. The event was marked by the International Vision Conference ELNET 20.

About the activities of the Estonian Music Library Association in 2016

Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal, President of the Estonian Music Library Association

The Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA) is an organisation whose aim is to promote collaboration between music libraries and to represent their common public interests. The EMLA is an Estonian Branch of the IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres).

The EMLA as an institution is a member of the Estonian Music Council and the Estonian Music Information Centre.

At the end of 2016, the EMLA had 14 members: 11 institutional and 3 individual members. In September the Arvo Pärt Centre joined the EMLA. The Arvo Pärt Centre ( was founded in 2010 by Arvo Pärt and his family with the aim of creating opportunities for preserving and researching the creative heritage of the composer in his native land.

The Board of the EMLA consisted of the following members: Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal (President, Tallinn Central Library), Ilvi Rauna (Vice-President, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Library), Heidi Heinmaa (Secretary, National Library of Estonia), Avo Kartul (University of Tartu Library), Ene Roost (Pärnu Central Library), Meery Salu (Tartu City Library), Viive Valper (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir).

The annual meeting and spring seminar were held on 6 May 2016 at the National Library.

This year the theme of the seminar concerned only everyday professional work. Discussed were issues related to cataloguing, uniform titles, and professional terminology.

The autumn meeting was held on 11 November at the 40th Anniversary Conference of the Music Department of the Tartu City Library.

The First Estonian-Finnish Music Library Seminar in Helsinki took place on 26-27 May. This event was launched under the leadership of the Finnish Music Library Association, with the EMLA helping complete a programme of Estonian presentations.

Estonia was represented with seven presentations.

This year 71 entries with English annotations of music literature published in Estonia were added to the RILM database.

The IAML Annual Congress in Rome was attended by Katre Riisalu, Heidi Heinmaa (National Library) and Ilvi Rauna (EAMTL). Ilvi Rauna continued as the Vice-President of the IAML Libraries in the Music Teaching Institutions Branch and as a member of the Membership Committee. Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal was a member of the Copyright Committee.

The BAAC (Baltic Audiovisual Archival Council) Annual Conference Heritage and People: Connecting, Curating, Sharing in Vilnius was attended by Marika Koha (National Library).

The Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association 2015



Dear reader,

You are holding the 27th Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association (ELA).

The year 2015 was the Year of Music. A lot of music was played also in libraries, in addition to numerous music-related exhibits and meetings. Katre Riisalu gives an overview of the library events during this year. Head of the Music Department of the Pärnu Central Library, Ene Roost, writes about the establishment of the Music Department and the activities of the music department of the public library in general. Music at the library – sounds great!

Also, one will get an idea how the little residents of Pärnu are encouraged to read and visit the library, and what is being done in Tallinn so that the people could feel confident in the world of online and know how to use modern smart devices.

For the ELA this year was significant because the cooperative relations with colleagues of the Baltic States were refreshed. Also, in 2015, in the new building of the National Library of Latvia the 10th Congress of the Baltic Librarians was held, with many participants from Estonian libraries – both as performers and listeners

Under the aegis of the ELA, we have been celebrating the Library Days for 25 years. The review of this is presented in the collection by Reet Olevsoo.

By the end of 2015, under the leadership of the ELA a vision document of Estonian librarianship “The Library of the 21st Century“ was prepared that will obviously be discussed in the next yearbook.

Traditionally, the Yearbook introduces the best librarians and library deeds of the year 2015 and covers the activities of the ELA, ELNET Consortium and the Association of Estonian Music Libraries.

We wish to thank all those people who contributed to the compilation of the Yearbook and provided us with their meaningful articles.

Editorial Board



The 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians „Libraries in Communities“ on 12–13 October 2015 in Riga, the National Library of Latvia

Tuuliki Tõiste. Head of Library Services Department, Tallinn University of Technology Library; member of the ELA Board

In 2015 the 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians took place in Riga, in the newly constructed building of the National Library of Latvia. The preparatory period of the Congress was short and very busy; the programme was still being drawn up on Friday, before the beginning of the Congress on Monday. Estonia was represented by 23 delegates, ten of whom delivered reports. Tuuliki Tõiste gives an account of the presentations of the Congress.

Wishing to make us visible: 25 years of Library Days

Reet Olevsoo, Head of the Office, Estonian Librarians Association

In 2015, under the leadership of the Estonian Librarians Association the National Library Days were organised for the 25th times. The author gives an account of the history of Library Days

Libraries capturing Vilde!

Kairi Tilga, Head of the Eduard Vilde Museum

In 2015 we celebrated 150 years since the birth of one of the most influential Estonian writers of the 20th century, Eduard Vilde. In connection with the jubilee year, the Eduard Vilde Museum (Tallinn City Museum) and the Estonian Librarians Association organised a competition „Elusive Vilde“. A broader and more common aim of the project targeted at libraries was to remove dust from the great man of Estonian literature and to move the personality of Vilde and his literary creation from bookshelves directly to the visitors of library reading rooms.

The libraries were summoned to set up a shrewd, innovative and attractive exhibition dedicated to Vilde (shelf, table, windowsill, bookcase, overhead, etc) that would on the one hand open and introduce the readers the story and destiny of the writer and on the other, invite and cause interest to reread the classic. In addition to exhibits, the libraries were called for organising various thematic events related to Vilde.

The competition was very well received and all in all 36 large and small libraries all over Estonia submitted their works. The competition became the most extensive undertaking of the Vilde jubelee year. The writer indeed captured thousands of library visitors across Estonia. It is great that librarians had courage to test their creativity, team spirit, and crafting skills. Hopefully, this successful competition will encourage libraries also in the future to try new innovative solutions for compiling exhibitions. As the role and activity area of libraries is increasingly expanding, the librarians have to work constantly on how to attract the attention of readers.

Läbikäik K (from Winni-the-Pooh) and talking things

Signe Peeker, Chief Specialist, Children’s Services, Pärnu Central Library

The article gives an overview of the activities of the Children’s Department of the Pärnu Central Library in 2015. The author writes about what they do in Pärnu to make children read and visit the library.

Innovative user training at the public library by the example of the Tallinn Central Library

Angelica Õunapuu, Manager of library software, Tallinn Central Library

Everyday life is becoming more and more technology-centred and it is impossible to ignore the role of media and technology. Both the elder and younger population are increasingly involved in the digital world that uses laptops, tablets, smartphones and social media. In addition to regular user training – basic computer training and the use of information sources – the readers need to be trained how to use different technological devices and digital environments. At the Tallinn Central Library, we have started to pay more attention to digital inclusion, teaching our visitors how to use different devices and equipment.

The Tallinn Central Library offers a wide range of various services – beginning from traditional library services and trainings to the rental of sports equipment. In 2015, more than 23 150 readers participated in user trainings which were offered by different service departments and branch libraries of the Tallinn Central Library. This number illustrates how important is the role of libraries in supporting life-long learning and as a community centre where one can acquire new practical skills.

User training at the library today involves more than just instructing how to use library databases and catalogues. It is essential to teach how to handle various media and communication technologies in order to cope with our daily life. At the same time it is important that every person would choose the most convenient and simplest for him/her solution to use. At this point the librarians are those who will help. The libraries are supporters of life-long learning. It is essential to keep up with times and make libraries visible in the community.

The Year of Music and the library

Katre Riisalu, Head of the Fine Arts Information Centre, National Library of Estonia; President of the Estonian Librarians Association

The year 2015 was the National Year of Music in Estonia. It was intended to focus attention on diverse Estonian music life, introduce writers and performers of music, encourage interest in music and increase the role of music in the life of Estonian people. Anybody who wished to contribute to the success of the Year was welcome to participate. In this article Katre Riisalu gives a brief account of the major undertakings of the Year of Music and what impact it had on Estonian libraries, what kind of original events the libraries organised, and provides a more specific overview of the activities of the National Library.

Music department at the public library: why and how?
By the example of the activities of the Music Department of Pärnu Central Library

Ene Roost, Head of the Music Department of Pärnu Central Library

The Music Department of Pärnu Central Library was opened on 25 October 1995. In the article Ene Roost gives an overview of the origin and activities of the Music Department of Pärnu Central Library. Also, the author draws attention to the special features of music department as compared with the regular library.

The ELA acknowledges:

ELA Award of Merit 2015 – Hele Ellermaa, Head of the Kõrveküla Library;

ELA Annual Award 2015 – Triin Soone, Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre for re-establishing the idea of giving a baby book Pisike Puu (Little Tree) to every child born in Estonia;

Children’s Librarian of the Year 2015 – Helle Laanpere, Head of the Children’s Department of the Võrumaa Central Library;

School Librarian of the Year 2015 – Tiina Tuvi, librarian of the Luunja Secondary School Library

Rural Librarian of the Year 2015 – Lea Rand, Head of the Toila Library;

Research Library Deed of the Year 2015 – Tartu University Library, for the development of registry service for Estonian research data;

Special Library Deed of the Year 2015 – Ingrit Zolotov, Head of the University of Tartu Narva College Library;

Town Library Deed of the Year 2015 – Tallinn Central Library - 10 years of the Profession Days dedicated to Aleksander Sibul and the campaign „Come to the Library!“;

Town Library Deed of the Year 2015 – Narva Central Library – the first Estonian library innovation lab MakerLab;

Best Young Librarian 2015 – Elise Rand, librarian of the Viimsi Library.

Elu raamatute keskel (Life amid Books)

Tiina Aasmann, information specialist, Fine Arts Information Centre of the National Library of Estonia

Elu raamatute keskel. Endel Annus 100. Editorial Board: Tiina Aasmann, Anne Ainz, Helje-Laine Kannik, Anne Valmas (chief editor). Tallinn : Tallinn University Academic Library, 2015. 245 pp.

The former colleagues from the National Library of Estonia and the Tallinn University Academic Library issued a commemorative collection about the journey of a great man to the world of books, dedicating the publication to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Endel Annus, a great chronicler of the Estonian book, a book history researcher and bibliographer. The collection contains a selection of Endel Annus’ written works, reminiscences of his colleagues about the road walked together, and a bibliography of his works.

A full picture of the years 2002-2012

Ene Riet, Editor of the journal Raamatukogu

Ene Riet provides an overview of the collection Raamatukogud ja -kogundus Eestis 2002–2012 (Libraries and librarianship in Estonia 2002–2012), compiled by Mihkel Volt.

Due to the lack of money, the printing of the publication was delayed for a whole year and was not issued until the end of 2014. The review of the collection follows with the same time lag.

In addition to the overview of research, public and children’s libraries, the collection summarises the activities of special libraries, written by Heli Priimets and Raile Reigo. Of professional organisations, besides a review of the Librarians Association compiled by Katre Riisalu, Katre Riisalu and Eha Garšnek covered the activities of the Association of Estonian Art Libraries, and Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal wrote about the Estonian Music Library Association.

Raamatukogud ja -kogundus Eestis 2002–2012 is not a research publication covering everything. It is an observatory publication containing a chronology, photos, and library statistics of events and is intended for librarians and specialty students. Since the collection contains the English resumes and statistics tables, our foreign colleagues are also welcome to familiarize themselves with Estonian librarianship.

Estonian Librarians Association in 2015

On 31 December 2015 the Association had 790 members, including four honorary members and one foreign member. Supporting members of the ELA are the Harju County Library, Lääne County Central Library, Lääne-Virumaa Central Library, Rapla Central Library, Valga Central Library and Viljandi City Library.

In 2015, 18 new members joined the ELA, 42 members left the organisation. The honorary member Maare Kümnik (15 March 1936–13 November 2015) passed into eternity. The campaign „Join the ELA!“ held on the Annual Meeting day and during the Library Days brought thirteen new members to the Association.

One of the major projects and challenges in 2015 was the drawing up of a vision document „The 21st Century Library“. The proposal to start drawing up an essential strategic document for Estonian librarianship was made at the ELA Annual Meeting 2015 and unanimously approved by its participants.

The ELA is a profession provider for librarians up to the year 2018. In 2015, from 15 August to 15 September the ELA Office was accepting profession applications; submitted were 7 applications. The applications were reviewed by the Professional Qualifications Committee on 30 September. According to the decision of the Committee three applicants were issued 6 level professional qualification, and four applicants received 7 level professional qualification.

On the initiative of the ELA the Library Days „Let’s Meet at the Library“ took place for the 25th time. The National Library Days were opened in the Kohtla-Järve Cultural Centre on 20 October.

On the opening day, inside the newspaper Postimees a special insert on the Library Days was issued, the publication of which was supported by Kultuurkapital (Cultural Endowment of Estonia). An electronic version of the insert is available on the ELA homepage.

The Library Days were concluded on 30 October at the Palamuse Community Centre in Jõgeva County at the Rural Librarians Day which was held for the 15th time.

The idea to celebrate in libraries the 150th anniversary of Eduard Vilde was initiated by the Eduard Vilde Museum in cooperation with the ELA. The aim of this undertaking was to stimulate and diversify literary life in libraries, to make Vilde attractive to the younger target groups, to contribute to the creation of a contemporary image of the greatest figure of our literature and cultural history, and to invite the people to read native valuable literature. The libraries were invited to participate in the contest “Elusive Vilde”.

Thirty six libraries all over Estonia took part in the contest, organising non-traditional, eventful, creative, original and community inclusive exhibits.

From 3-6 November, the writers once again toured Estonian libraries. It was already the previous year that the poet Doris Kareva gave the tour a common name Sõnaränd (Word travel). More than twenty writers in seven teams had meetings with readers and librarians, criss-crossing the whole country.

During the recent years the ELA has made attempts to re-establish cooperative relations with its Southern neighbours and refresh common projects of Baltic librarians. In this respect, the year 2015 was extremely productive – organising several trips, holding common seminars and open discussions.

On 29-31 March four-member delegations of the Boards of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia met in Birštonas in Lithuania close to the Belarusian border to discuss cooperation opportunities and common projects. The participants exchanged experience and discussed if there was any common success formula for the activities of library associations and how to strengthen cooperation partnership. The first concrete step in this direction was the participation of the Estonian delegation in the opening of the Lithuanian Library Days in Vilnius on 26–28 April. At the international conference “Library: Information and Knowledge for Everyone” Estonian experience was shared by Veronika Raudsepp Linnupuu from the Viljandi City Library, Angelica Õunapuu from the Tallinn Central Library, and Mai Põldaas from the University of Tartu. The Estonian libraries stand out among other Baltic libraries for their modernity and exciting undertakings. Katre Riisalu and the other presidents of the Baltic professional associations signed a goodwill agreement on further cooperation.

On 6-7 August, the Lithuanian Librarians Association Young Professionals Section organised an international forum in Šventoij, Lithuania with participants from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia, and two representatives from Estonia. The goal of the forum was to develop cooperation between young librarians and speak about their experiences on the librarianship landscape. The participants from Estonia were the members of the Young Professionals Club, Liina Tamm and Maris Nool.

The 10th Congress of Baltic librarians “Libraries in Communities” was held at the National Library of Latvia in Riga on 12-13 October. The Congress was convened by the Latvian Librarians Association together with the professional associations of Estonia and Lithuania. There were twenty three participants from Estonian libraries, five of whom delivered constructive and well received presentations. Tuuliki Tõiste belonged to the programme panel of the Congress.

Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network

Mare-Nelli Ilus, Executive Director of the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network

By the end of 2015 the ELNET Consortium had 9 members and 7 partners, Eesti Pank (the Bank of Estonia) as a new partner. All together 16 member and partner libraries were involved in the work of the Consortium. During the year, the libraries of Eesti Pank, Tartu Art College, Tartu Art School, Tallinn City Museum, and Tallinn City Archives joined the e-catalogue.

The debates about the future of cooperation of the Consortium members and partners started in 2014, resulting in the approval of the development strategy 2015-2018 in May.

A novel proposal was made to expand even more cooperation between libraries and form a development council at the Consortium with the aim of involving highly qualified IT specialists from outside to plan development activities of the Consortium, and inviting to participate representatives of different ministries, evolving thus into a high-level developer of librarianship services in Estonia.

All member and partner libraries of the Consortium participate in one of the most important areas of activities, the online catalogue ESTER. Thirteen libraries participate in the database of Estonian articles ISE.

About the activities of the Estonian Music Library Association in 2015

Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal, President of the Estonian Music Library Association

The Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA) is an organisation promoting cooperation between music libraries and representing professional interests. EMLA is the National Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres. EMLA is a member of the Estonian Music Council and the Estonian Music Information Centre.

In 2015 EMLA had 13 members: 10 institutions and 3 individual members.

Major events/trainings were traditionally organised two times a year. The regular General Assembly meeting and Spring Training Day took place at the National Library of Estonia on 24 April. The theme of the Training Day this time was Deltabluusist britibluusini: pildikesi bluusi ajaloost (From Delta blues to British blues: snapshots from the history of blues).

The autumn meeting took place at the Pärnu Central Library at the Jubilee Conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Music Department of the Library.

Once again attempts were made to find a solution to the problem of lending rights of video recordings. For several years a working group on the codification of intellectual property formed at the Ministry of Justice has been working on a new draft of the Copyright Act. The meeting of the representatives of libraries, film producers and related ministries held at the National Library in May 2014 to discuss once more public lending right did not yield in any result.

In January 2015 the last version of the new Copyright Act became public, which surprisingly distinguished between films produced in Estonia and those produced abroad, laying down their different lending regulations.

In June on the initiative of EMLA another petition was submitted to the Minister of Justice, Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar and the members of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament) concerning the lending of audio-visual items. The ELA and the directors of central libraries joined the petition.

The year 2015 was announced the Year of Music in Estonia with the aim to focus attention on diverse Estonian music life, introducing creators and performers of music, encouraging interest in music and increasing the role of music in the life of Estonian people. Of course, in this event, the music libraries, took the opportunity to better introduce and highlight their activities. All the libraries arranged music-related events, organised exhibitions and trainings for their users as well as colleagues from other libraries. Every issue of the journal Raamatukogu (Library) published this year had at least one article on music librarianship. Other publications covered the undertakings of music libraries as well. It is also worth noting that Head of the Music Department of the Pärnu Central Library, Ene Roost; was awarded the title Pärnu Woman of the Year for her 20-year-long work in creating and developing the Department.

The Yearbooks of the Estonian Librarians Association 2014



Dear readre,
You are holding in your hands the Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association 2014. It was the year when the top of the ranking list of the most borrowed authors in Estonian libraries was crowned by the beloved Estonian writers Andrus Kivirähk, Indrek Hargla and Mart Kadastik. Several libraries had an opportunity to look back in history and make their jubilee reviews – the Tallinn University of Technology Library and Harju County Library celebrated their 95th anniversary, Põltsamaa Library its centenary, Literary Museum Archival Library its 105th and Järvamaa Central Library its 155th birthday.

Estonians attended the great cultural event that took place in Riga, on a bitter cold winter day participating in the human chain of thousands of book lovers and moving books from the old building of the National Library of Latvia to the Castle of Light on the Daugava river bank. In 2014, the directors of the Baltic national libraries signed a cooperation memorandum; and the professional associations enhanced their joint activities. The ELA took part in and supported the Right to E-read Campaign launched by the Bureau of European Library, Information and Documentation Associations, EBLIDA. Sinikka Sipilä, President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, IFLA, opened the Library Days “Let’Meet at the Library“. Her thoughts are also published in this collection.

A new era began in the sphere of our professional education – pursuant to the eight-level professional standards the first thirteen librarians were granted their vocational qualifications. The Yearbook also contains a new version of the Code of Ethics for Librarians approved by the ELA annual meeting. The Estonian retrospective national bibliography Eestikeelne raamat 1918-1940 (Estonian-language books 1918-1940) completed in the result of many years of hard work was recognised by a bibliography award. The ELA Young Professionals Club, gaining impetus after its foundation organised in Abja-Paluoja its first get-together BibliCamp.

At the end of the year a collection of articles Raamatukogud ja raamatukogundus Eestis 2002-2012 (Libraries and librarianship in Estonia 2002-2012) was published that gives a comprehensive overview of the development of library science in libraries. This Yearbook provides more information on diverse and less well-known special libraries (Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre, Medical Information Centre of Tartu University Clinicum, Information Centre of the National Audit Office, Tallinn Botanic Garden Library, Estonian Naturalists’ Society Library, and Art Museum of Estonia Library).

The Yearbook 2014 traditionally presents the best librarians and library deeds of the year, and covers the activities of the ELA, ELNET Consortium and the Estonian Music Library Association.

In 2014, passed away the honorary members of the ELA, Hans Jürman, Arda-Maria Kirsel and ElleTarik.

Many thanks to all those who contributed to the publication of this Yearbook and provided it with meaningful articles.

Editorial Board



Librarianship in a Changing World. Estonian Views on the IFLA Trend Report

Veronika Raudsepp Linnupuu, Head of Reference Rooms, Viljandi Town Library,
Leader of the Estonian Library Associations Working Group on Fresh Approach

The changes in the last decades have been rapid. This has influenced everything around us – economy, social developments, education systems, and the way people work. There are so many new opportunities that libraries have to ask themselves what they should focus on. The specialists of the international library organisation IFLA in cooperation with experts and stakeholders from various fields have drawn up a document on five global development trends that influence libraries.

All librarians have felt the impact of these developments. However, the Trend Report revealed the need for discussion to understand the changes. Since autumn 2013, Estonian professionals have focused on the Trend Report to find the solutions that would work in Estonia. In November 2013, within the Estonian Librarians Association a Working Group on Fresh Approach was formed to first discuss the issues of the Report within a smaller group.

To engage a larger circle of people, Kristina Pai wrote an article for the Estonian library journal Raamatukogu and in the same issue an Estonian version of the IFLA Trend Report was published. In May, a wider discussion was undertaken at the National Library of Estonia. The conclusions drawn from these discussions are presented in this article.

It was agreed that libraries are created for the people and must emanate from the needs of people. Alongside literature and information, librarians must provide the best cultural experience, support for lifelong learning and leisure time opportunities. This sets a greater demand on the information, mentoring and cultural management skills of librarians. The expectations of customers are very high. The current solutions are insufficient for planning long-term and resource consuming new developments for the library of the future. Also, the idea to establish an Estonian libraries development centre was stated.

There is a constant need to work on upholding the competences of librarians. We cannot know all about everything - we need skills how to find quickly the best answers or just a trustworthy place where to ask.

IT based services on the national level must be so good that librarians on the local level could focus only on the content and not struggle with technical issues of databases and information programmes. The libraries need someone who is like Steve Jobs for the Apple. The librarian is like a theatre producer, preparing stages for information resources search and guiding users to information. It must be written into the Public Library Act that libraries are also learning centres. Cooperation between different types of libraries is essential.

Personal privacy is the basis for developing free thought. Any control kills it. Libraries have to continue to be censorship free and support individual freedoms. We have to provide readers with the common knowledge about privacy and copyright laws, etc. for upholding balance between free thought and respect for the author. Estonians have some variations on addressing privacy and copyright related issues in real life situations - a common agreement is needed to handle some certain cases.

The library offers a physical room and neutral place for everybody. The question is whether the library goes to the community or the community comes to the library.

In Estonia there are three lending systems. However, in such a small country it is more reasonable to have only one as we all have one ID card. On the one hand we want more centralisation and Big Data gathering to provide the best and similar quality service in all parts of Estonia, but on the other, we want to approach our customers individually – meeting their needs half way.

Libraries must be better than the Google and think of a more personalized approach to customers. In addition to e-readers, libraries could lend information tools, such as microscopes, telescopes, science labs, etc. The way to survive in the information flood is to create accompanying metadata to e-books, region-based information gathering, and upholding local speciality.

The questions arisen by IFLA are timely and the input gathered by the Working Group on Fresh Approach shows that it is essential to continue discussion. The Estonian librarians’ views on the IFLA Trend Report will form the basis for the Libraries Good Practice Guidebook.

E-book Lending and Reading Environment ELLU as a Pioneer in Implementing Modern e-books Lending Service

Triinu Seppam, Director of Library Services, Tallinn Central Library

In 2014, the Tallinn Central Library’s e-book lending and reading environment ELLU won the EIFL Public Library Innovation Award for creative use of ICT in public libraries. ELLU is a software which allows the Tallinn Central Library to buy and lend e-books in the ePUB format, and library users can borrow and read e-books online.

The article gives a short overview of ELLU, the challenges that the library faces in offering e-book lending service and highlights the need for copyright law reform. The author recognizes the e-book lending service as an opportunity for disabled people who have difficulties in using a physical library. She points out various reasons why the e-book lending service is important, how this service helps children, the youth, and elderly people.

Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre (EIPTTC)

Riina Pohlak, leading specialist, Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre


The article provides an overview of establishing the Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre (EIPTTC).

The author describes the start of acquisition of patent specifications in 1962, which became the basis of the Estonian Technical Library Patent Department, founded in 1968.

The Estonian Patent Library was established in 1992.

The article introduces the most important milestones of the Patent Library in developing a modern patent information centre and establishing a non-profit organisation, the Estonian Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Centre in 2013.

The mission of EIPTTC is to offer attractive and easy-to-use services, share knowledge and highlight intellectual property as a strategic tool in business development. 

Activities of the Medical Information Centre of Tartu University Clinicum over the last 20 years

Keiu Saarniit, Director, Medical Information Centre, Tartu University Clinicum


The Medical Information Centre was established instead of the former Tartu Hospital Library in 1994. The aim of the Information Centre was in particular to offer access options to electronic materials. By financing various projects it became possible to achieve the ultimate goal – information necessary for consulting a patient reaches the desk of every single doctor at once. Today, the domain of activities of the Information Centre of the Clinicum has expanded from Tartu to all over Estonia. The major cooperation partners are the North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH), East-Tallinn Central Hospital, West-Tallinn Central Hospital, Tallinn Children’s Hospital, Pärnu Hospital, East-Viru Central Hospital, the Agency of Medicines, and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. An essential part of the activities of the Information Centre is to provide professional training in the field of medical information. Likewise, the responsibilities of the Centre include keeping and maintaining the database of publications of Estonian medical researchers. According to the cooperation agreement the Information Centre of the Clinicum provides information search services to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund for compiling clinical practice guidelines. At present the Centre is involved in developing guidelines for its clients how to use mobile applications (smartphone, tablet PC) for performing information retrieval in medical databases. The collection of the Centre comprises primarily databases, e-journals, and e-books. The Medical Information Centre employs five people – a director, adviser, and three information specialists.Information

Information Centre of the National Audit Office

Katrin Gottlob, Information Officer, Information Centre of the National Audit Office


Alongside the restoration of the activities of the National Audit Office early in 1990, also the library was opened. When Juhan Part was appointed as Auditor General, the library was transformed into the Information Centre and an information officer was hired. The Information Centre has been offering its services ever since. The main part of the library collection is comprised of materials of supreme audit institutions that include audit, juridical, economic and administration literature, and periodicals. There are over 4000 documents; and the employees of the National Audit Office have access to several databases. Via intranet, managed by the information officer, the employees are informed of new documents, researches, materials of methodology, and databases.

The Tallinn Botanic Garden Library

Helen Kösta, Head of the Library, Tallinn Botanic Garden Library


The Tallinn Botanic Garden  was established as a research institute of the Estonian Academy of Sciences in Kloostrimetsa, on the farm estate of the first President of the Republic of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, on 1 December 1961. Soon after that the library was opened with the purpose to make the most recent specialized literature available to the staff of the Botanic Garden. The main literature subjects held in the library of the Botanic Garden are botany, horticulture, garden design, landscape architecture and ecology. The collection mostly consists of books and periodicals, but also manuscripts, VHS cassettes, and CDs. The oldest books in the collection originate from the 19th century, from the private collections of Albert Üksip, Johann Sannamees, and others. Among the duties of the librarian is a bibliographical description of the publications of the staff of the Botanic Garden. In 2013, a proposal was submitted to get a grant for joining URRAM – an online database system for libraries. As a result, the databases of the library collection are more visible for potential readers outside.

The Estonian Naturalists’ Society Library

Ulje Natus, Head of the Library, Estonian Naturalists’ Society Library


The Estonian Naturalists’ Society Library was established in 1853 along with the Society. It has continually been assembled since then, and was initially created by personal donations from the private libraries of Society members. Today it is the oldest and largest library specializing in natural sciences in Estonia. The collection is improved mainly through exchanges, and less by purchases, presents and donations.

The collection includes approximately 160 000 volumes of literature on natural sciences (2/3 of it are periodicals). The oldest books originate from the 16th century. The collection of older periodicals on natural sciences is particularly voluminous. Of more recent literature, periodicals, journals on ornithology, entomology, systematics and mycology are well represented.

The Art Museum of Estonia Library

Maie Säraka, Head of the Library, Art Museum of Estonia Library


The Art Museum of Estonia Library was founded in 1924. Since that time the library has been an integral part of the museum. The status of the library changed and a new development period began when the Kumu Art Museum –the new headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia – was opened in 2006. For the first time the library became public and can be used by all art enthusiasts.

In 2007, the library joined the ELNET Consortium that gives an opportunity to find our books and journals through the online catalogue ESTER, which by now includes 95% of all our nearly 50 000 items. Every two weeks we display new arrivals to introduce 30-35 new books. The important acquisition areas are books on art theory, museology and museum education, paintings, graphics and graphic design, media art, photography, fashion, and sculpture. The preferred foreign languages are English, German, and Russian. Purchases, donations and book exchange are the three important sources of acquisition. Our mission is to collect, preserve and make available in particular materials on Estonian art as well as to supply the keepers of the museum collections and curators with the latest art literature necessary for their work.

Activities of the Estonian Librarians Association in 2014

The Estonian Librarians Association is an active organisation with a stable membership. The organisation comprises 814 members, including five honorary members. The associate members of the ELA are the Harju County Library, Lääne County Central Library, Lääne-Virumaa Central Library, Rapla Central Library, Valga Central Library, and Viljandi City Library.

The annual meeting of the ELA held on the 28th of February endorsed a new version of the Code of Ethics for Librarians.

The Library Days „Let’s Meet at the Library“ were opened on the 26th of October by IFLA President, Sinikka Sipilä, together with Rapla County municipality leaders and Minister of Culture, Urve Tiidus.

According to the new professional standard, thirteen librarians were awarded vocational qualifications (eleven librarians were granted level 6 and two librarians - level 7). On the initiative of the Committee on Education a new Professional Training Programme for librarians, level 6, consisting of six modules, was drawn up. The Association also discussed with libraries how to celebrate the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and the 150th anniversary of the writer Eduard Vilde.

In 2014, the Young Professionals Club bringing together young librarians was established at the Association. More than 700 people participated in the nation-wide events organised by the ELA, including open discussions, the opening of library days, and specialty days. Over 600 librarians took part in education events such as information days, seminars, summer seminars. From 2014, the ELA belongs to the cooperation network of non-governmental organisations, the Estonian Cooperation Assembly, and is a member of the Bureau of European Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA). The Board of ELA signed up the IFLA Lyon Declaration and suggested other Estonian libraries do the same. The joint debates at the think tank were inspired by the five IFLA development trends.

On the 1st of December the ELA had an Education Day for those cataloguers of public libraries who in their everyday work deal with cataloguing and MARC entries. The goal of the Education Day was to recall the basic principles of subject indexing and refresh the existing knowledge about MARC cataloguing, to point out the specific character of cataloguing sound recordings, music videos, geographic and town maps.

The annual education activities culminated on the 11th of December in a brief training on media management and public relations for the Board of ELA and the heads and trustees of structural units to discuss how to improve the relations of libraries and ELA with the media.

Estonian Librarians Association Young Professionals Club

Liina Tamm, Librarian-Bibliographer, Estonian Academy of Security Services
Member of ELA YPC

Jaana Roos, Public Relations Officer, Tallinn University Academic Library
Member of ELA YPC

The necessity for an organised young professionals unit in Estonia was a burning question, that is why the Estonian Librarians Association Young Professionals Club (ELA YPC) had even two starting points. The first one was at a Special Libraries Section meeting in winter 2013, where the discussion about the ELA became very emotional, especially when it concerned young professionals and their involvement in the development of librarianship and information work. After the meeting Liina Tamm (Library of Estonian Academy of Security Sciences) asked her friends to share their thoughts about the ELA. The responses, which were quite negative, were submitted to the Board of ELA and in spring 2013 discussed at a meeting where a suggestion to form a young professionals unit within the ELA was presented to Liina. Around the same time Brigitta Kivisaar (Tallinn Central Library) and Jaana Roos (Academic Library of Tallinn University) were invited by the Latvian Librarians Association Young Professionals Section to participate in a conference, where the idea to centralise a similar group of young information specialists in Estonia was presented to Jaana and Brigitta. So it was only a matter of time when the three persons met for cooperation. After their first meeting the proposal to create a special unit for young librarians was submitted to the Board of ELA and on the 1st of May 2014, the ELA YPC was founded.

The ELA YPC’s main effort has been to find the young people who would like to join the Club and map out the issues that can be changed in terms of overall cooperation between young professionals still learning and those who were already working. There are some points which have been important to the activists of the ELA YPC from the start: stepping out of their comfort zone, showing that young professionals are reliable and trustworthy partners, and exchanging experience as one of the keys for developing a good work environment.

In June 2014, with some support from the ELA the Club organized an event called BibliCamp with the aim of getting to know each other and talking about the practical things important for young specialists (how to manage a crisis situation in the library, how different the readers are, what young professionals expect from ELA, etc.). The first event was not crowded (eleven attendees, including two students from Tartu University), but we had a good feedback and got fresh ideas for future plans. In November 2014, at a meeting of ELA YPC activists and the ELA Education Committee we discussed some issues arisen at the BibliCamp (the possibility of a mentor programme in information work). In February 2015, at a seminar in Tartu we exchanged experiences about the working life and ethics of young professionals after their graduation from university.

By introducing the statute of the ELA YPC things may become more formal, but our main goal - to show that through a non-academic discussion and personal contacts as a good basis for professional involvment we can go a long way – will remain.

Activities of the Estonian Libraries Network Consortium 2014

Mare-Nelli Ilus, Executive Director, Estonian Libraries Network Consortium (ELNET Consortium)


This was a special year for the Consortium. After a decade-long consideration and debates, involving a large

part of library employees and Consortium specialists, the merging of the databases of the Tallinn and Tartu online catalogue ESTER began. All fifteen Consortium member and partner libraries participate in the online catalogue ESTER (, Consortium’s largest field of action. There are about 60 different locations that can be specified by readers. The Tartu system, which was functionally and in terms of volume smaller, was merged with the Tallinn system. The preparations and the introduction of a new code system, multiple testing of the merging, etc. lasted for months. The newly designed merged database was opened to the public on 9 July; however, at first only in the Estonian language. The transition to Sierra took place in October 2014.

Thirteen libraries are active in maintaining the database of Estonian articles ISE ( As of 31 December 2014, the database contained 1 715 874 bibliographic and 60 274 authority records, including 16 267 bibliographic records which after the conversion have not been reviewed yet. During the year 39 796 bibliographic records were entered and 16 406 bibliographic entries converted. According to the Google Analytics’ information, the database ISE was visited 2 014 125 151 times, of these 6 1718 visits were unique. In 2014, on enquiry 1 891 new subject headings of the ESTER databases, ISE database and public libraries were added to the Estonian Subject Thesaurus (EMS). At the end of the year the Thesaurus contained 56 507 records.

The Consortium’s newest field of action is the creation and implementation of an e-repository portal within the project of the Estonian Research Infrastructures Roadmap E-Repository and Conservation of Collections 2010 (I stage). The portal will ensure access to various materials through a single Internet gateway. These materials include scientific literature, Estonia-centred cultural history and national poetry collections, early rare books from Estonian memory institutions and other information and cultural heritage collections stored in archives and museums.

Activities of the Estonian Music Library Association 2014

Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal, Chair, Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA)


The Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA) is an organisation promoting cooperation between music libraries and representing professional interests of librarians. The EMLA is the Estonian branch of the IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres). The EMLA is a member of the Estonian Music Council and Estonian Music Information Centre. In 2014, the organisation had 13 members, ten institutions and three individual members.

Traditionally, twice a year the EMLA organises major events/trainings. A regular meeting at the Tallinn Central Library was followed by a professional training day at the Estonian Film Archives. During a two-day autumn seminar the participants got acquainted with the new building of the Harju County Library; the second day was spent at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and was dedicated to the development of music culture of the Middle Ages and the period of Renaissance.

In addition to issues related to music cataloguing, the addressing of the problems related to lending rights for video recordings was continued. The Working Group for Codifying Intellectual Property, established by the Ministry of Justice, for a number of years already has been preparing a new draft of the Copyright Act. The EMLA has repeatedly made proposals to the working group and on 3 May convened a round table, involving representatives of the interested libraries and film producers, including representatives of the Estonian Organisation for Copyright Protection, Estonian Performers Association, the Ministry of Culture, and the Author Compensation Fund. Unfortunately, practically there were no positive results of the meeting, and, as of the end of 2014, everything related to the new draft of the Copyright Act remained open.

The EMLA intensively continued international communication; reports were delivered at a number of conferences.

41 new records of music literature issued in Estonia were entered in the bibliographic database RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale).

The Yearbooks of the Estonian Librarians Association 2013



Dear reader,

You are holding the Yearbook of the Estonian Librarians Association (ELA) 2013, the Year of Cultural Heritage. For Estonian librarianship the Year of Cultural Heritage had a significant meaning. 90 years passed since the establishment of the Estonian Librarians Association, and the publication of the first issue of the professional journal Raamatukogu. The column Vaadates aastate taha (Recollecting the past) in the Yearbook is dedicated to these upstanding milestones.

With due respect to the Year of Cultural Heritage the X Congress of Estonian Librarians was held; by reading its presentations also the non-participants will get an excellent overview of the event. The Congress will go into history as a congress offering fresh developments and innovative IT solutions. The librarians got assurance that among the choices of the ambitious world the 21st century libraries are occupying a recognisable position. Also, the new logo and colours of the Association were presented at the Congress..

For years, the libraries have had a lively international cooperation that in 2013 culminated in the Nordic and Baltic Librarians Conference in Helsinki. Estonia had the honour to give the colleagues from the Nordic Countries an overview of Baltic librarianship. The materials of the presentation were put together by countries and are issued as separate articles in the Yearbook.

It was an important year for the cultural community, as the document „Fundamentals of the Estonian Cultural policy to 2020“ was prepared that inspired also the representatives of libraries to unite and think about the most important issues in this field. Serious efforts were needed to prove the necessity of libraries in society. Fortunately, the voices of librarians were heard and the libraries were provided with a separate chapter in the Document. After the repeated proposals the Document indicated that the state would support the acquisition of public libraries and that a wide-range digitisation of Estonian cultural heritage would undoubtedly serve the interest of users. Parliament approved the Document early in 2014.

In spring, the Qualifications Authority approved a new professional standard for librarians; the relevant texts are bound at the end of the Yearbook. The approval of the new standard caused the need to refresh and reconsider also the process of granting the librarian profession in the coming years.

According to the Year of Estonian Heritage there were texts about the cultural heritage of Estonians living abroad; also, a book of memories Elu paralleelmaaimades (Life in parallel worlds) by Ivi Eenmaa, a long-term General Director of the National Library, was discussed.

During the traditional Library Days, the bus libraries on the long distance buses were opened due to the joint efforts of the ELA and the internal bus company Sebe. The Marketing Institute announced this outstanding undertaking the Marketing Star of the 42nd week.

As always, the Year Book introduces the best librarians and the library deeds of the year and gives an overview of the activities of the ELA, ELNET Consortium and the Estonian Music Library Association.

We wish to thank the many people for their assistance in compiling the Yearbook and writing the constrictive and informative articles.

Editorial Board



Cultural policy and libraries

Katre Riisalu, President of the Board, Estonian Librarians Association

Resulting from the Government Engagement Practices, in 2011, the Ministry of Culture began updating the developments of cultural policy. Together with the cultural public it was planned to submit the document to Parliament for approval by the end of 2012. Not to let the libraries be excluded from the new cultural policy document, in autumn 2011, the ELA introduced itself to the Ministry of Culture as an organisation representing Estonian libraries, ready to contribute by dealing with library issues and inviting representatives from different libraries to take part in common discussions. In February 2012, a broad working group convened to draw up a library-related entry. The librarians formulated the desired position of libraries by their types by the year 2020, described book collections and the Estonian Digital Library, financing, etc. After the document was submitted to the Ministry a long waiting period followed until the document comprising all cultural spheres was completed. However, it was not considered necessary to have a separate chapter on libraries in the new document of cultural policy developments; libraries were only briefly mentioned in the chapter Sõnakunst (The art of words). The ELA working group made quite a few additions and amendments to the document, including the most important proposal to create a new sub-paragraph “Library” with the relevant content.

When the preparation of new cultural policy developments began, the librarians were quite excited because the Ministry had a will to involve the related fields; but now we have to admit that the former excitement is vanished. A positive side of the matter after all is that the voices of librarians were still heard and the libraries were provided with a special chapter; and after repeated suggestions the Document reads that the state will support the acquisition of public libraries, and a wide-range digitisation of Estonian cultural heritage will undoubtedly serve the interests of users.

ELA – a mass organisation or a union of enthusiasts?

Katre Riisalu, President of the Board, Estonian Librarians Association

Ninety years ago, 54 librarians from across Estonia gathered at the Tallinn Central Library to hold the 1st Congress of Estonian Librarians and found the Estonian Librarians Association. The initiators and promoters of the idea were the then Head of the Tallinn Central Library, Aleksander Sibul, who long before had set the task of uniting librarians and establishing a librarians organisation in Estonia, and the Head of the University of Tartu Library, Friedrich Puksoo. A. Sibul as Chairman and F. Puksoo as Deputy Chairman directed the activities of the Association until 1940.

By the end of 1939 there were 151 members, approximately 20% of the total number of library employees.

At the beginning of 1989, the Association consisted of 506 members, or 16% of library employees.

In 2012, there were 797 members, or 30% of the total number of librarians.

The 1st Congress of Librarians addressed the pressing issues of the field, which were reflected in the adopted resolutions, covering all the most important aspects necessary for the development of libraries, and constituted a kind of an action plan for the development of librarianship. The Association has had an essential role to play in the improvement of professional skills of librarians at any time. Both then and now: before 1940 the ELA was involved in professional training and in compiling professional certification programmes. By the year 1940, 79 librarians passed the 1st and the 2nd stage exams. Today, the ELA is again a provider of librarian profession; by 2012, professional certificates were awarded to 897 librarians.

Training, seminars, information days – they are not an aim in itself, but a means of supporting the achievement of broader objectives. The need for the courses held before 1940 was dictated by the circumstances of the time - the arrangement of library work required a competent management; Estonia, however, did not provide professional education. The ELA in partnership with the Ministry of Education organised altogether 36 courses in 19 different places, attracting the audience of 950-1000 people. During the last 25 years, almost every year the Association organised on average 20 training courses. The number of participants per year was between 700 – 800 people. So the total number of trainees runs into thousands. The popular events among librarians in the 1930ies as well as the 1990ies included tours to Finland and Latvia to acquire experience from our closest neighbours; in addition to libraries, also art exhibitions were visited.

Congresses are of great importance for cooperation of librarians, being one of the milestones along the development path of libraries. Librarians come together to draw conclusions and set new goals. The IX Congress of Baltic Librarians held in autumn 2011 strengthened the relationships between the associations. The X Congress of Librarians is due to in 2013.

Together with the Association, the 90th birthday is celebrated also by the journal Raamatukogu, the first issue of which came out in June 1923.

To answer the question whether the Association is a mass organisation or a union of enthusiasts, we have to claim that by the numbers we could belong to mass organisations; however, the Association has greatly rested on its enthusiasts. The Association as a whole is as strong as strong, positive and active its members are.


To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Raamatukogu. The professional library journal in Estonia after declaring the independence of the state again. 

Ene Riet, editor

The Estonian Librarians’ Association published the first issue of a professional library journal, Raamatukogu (RK), in 1923. In the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, the number of culture journals and magazines was diminished, and the RK was shut down. The National Library of Estonia and the Estonian Librarians’ Association have again issued the journal jointly since 1990. Since 1994, it has been published six times a year in five quires.

The readership of the RK includes all Estonian librarians from public, school, special, and research libraries. The editors have tried to treat both the whole range of issues, important to the development of the Estonian librarianship, as well as to introduce global development trends. In addition to articles, overviews, etc. on the library field, the journal also includes pieces that discuss broader cultural issues. The texts in the journal have been divided into headings; every journal issue focuses on a certain theme, library type, or on a certain library. A wall calendar that informs of the dates of important events in Estonian librarianship during the next year has been drawn up for the last issue of the year.

The journal is a developing publication that undergoes constant change, considers the timeliness of treated issues, while selecting these, and aspires to meet the needs of its all readers.

The X Congress of Estonian Librarians “Choose the library!”

Ere Raag, Chief Specialist, Võru Central Library

The X Congress of Estonian Librarians “Choose the library!” was held in Pärnu on 20-21 May 2013.193 librarians from all over Estonia gathered at the Conference Centre Strand to take stock of the period between the two congresses, to consider the role of the library in society, and discuss future visions.

The presentations of the inaugural session “Library in a multimedial world” addressed the recent past, the present day, and a future vision of the library.

At the afternoon session and the discussion that followed the participants talked about the changed roles of the library – the importance of the 21st century library as a public social space, the particularities of university libraries performance, and reader expectations towards both libraries and librarians.

At the end of the first day all those who were interested could visit the Pärnu Central Library and the University of Tartu Pärnu College Library.

The inaugural session of the second day of the Congress “Expectations towards librarians” had the emphasis on professional education. The presentations of representatives of universities introduced different professional training opportunities: professional training and the alumni survey at the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy; formal education at the University of Tallinn and employment on the labour market – the curriculum development that was realised in 2008-2013 and the results of the alumni survey, International Master in Digital Library Learning at the University of Tallinn; the need of a strategic approach to the support of students’ information literacy, and the ELA as a connecting link in the role of a provider of profession and trainer.

The message of all the presentations was clear – to promote the profession of librarian and find ways of making this profession attractive for young people The role and responsibility of librarians is increasingly growing - as readers still communicate with people, not computers; information literacy is of utmost importance.

The final topic of the Congress “Innovation and library developments” was delivered in a new Pecha Kucha presentation format – in addition to development projects of major libraries, thirteen presentations introduced innovative solutions of smaller libraries.

The X Congress of Estonian Librarians was well-organised and met the expectations of its attendees. A smooth workflow, a large number of presentations and a wide range of topics contributed to the success of the Congress. Alongside oral presentations, all the libraries had for the first time an opportunity to introduce their professional work by poster presentations. To remind the event, the participants were given a memory stick with the materials of the Congress.

The X Congress of Estonian Librarians in the jubilee year of the Estonian Librarians Association will go down in history as a congress offering new developments and innovative IT solutions. The librarians were ascertained that the 21st century library had a permanent position among the choices of a world rich in opportunities.

Strategic approach to supporting information literacy of students

Triin Kaasik, Study Centre , Academic Library of Tallinn University

In the context of the modern information world, the competency of information literacy has become an end in itself, supporting people in their aspirations for life-long learning and in learning how to learn. Information literacy in the university context has different functions. In particular, it supports students’ independence in their studies and a world of science.

It can be claimed that in a number of universities the support of students in information literacy is insufficient. Information literacy support practice is performed through single optional subject courses and trainings. The cooperation of the parties interested is poor and information literacy is not integrated into the curriculum. So a strategic approach to information literacy is missing.

The focus of the article is on a strategic approach to supporting information literacy of students, which requires integrating it into the overall university strategy, policy, and mission. Information literacy must be included into university documents and competence requirements for graduates. Information literacy should occupy an outstanding position at the university. It must be incorporated across curricula and be institutionalised. A university-wide awareness of information literacy requires also a common understanding of the term. A strategic approach can be developed only by cooperating together. It is essential to determine and recognise key partners. The library can be regarded as a central party because it has got competence and experience in teaching information literacy.

Public libraries meeting challenges

Kaie Holm, Director, Tallinn Central Library

Estonian public libraries have the reason time and again to look towards Finland – the country named also a land of libraries – and follow the example of the libraries there. We need to take a glance at our Nordic neighbour and see how their public libraries have been developed, where they are moving and on this basis to evaluate the performance of our own libraries and plan possible further developments. There may be heard allegations in Estonia that libraries will disappear because people are provided with computers at home or because e-books are coming instead; in Finland, on the contrary, the necessity of libraries is not questioned, although there is no need to compare the economic situation of the two countries or the purchasing power of Estonians and Finns. The Finnish decision-makers continuously believe that contributing to libraries is necessary; and people are convinced that they will benefit from the use of the library. This presentation compares the challenges the Finnish and Estonian public libraries are facing and how they both have managed to cope with these challenges. The presentation mainly focuses on three topics: strategic planning, the changed roles of the library, and the staff.

What do students do at the library?

Aiki Tibar, Head of Division, Research and Development Division, Tallinn University of Technology Library

More than 14 000 students study at the Tallinn University of Technology. At the end of 2012 the library carried out a survey in order to find out readers’ satisfaction with library services, study conditions, and environment. 84% of the survey respondents were TUT students.

What do students do in the library? In particular, they come to the library to borrow text books and study. They highly evaluate the innovation of the library. Students can themselves reserve study rooms through the library website for the desired time. The group study rooms equipped with computers are very popular. The computers may be used for information search, printing, and scanning, for the purposes of both studying and entertainment. WiFi coverage makes it possible to use laptops at any place in the library. The library is connected by galleries with the study buildings of the University that makes it very convenient for students to come to the library and make use of their time between lectures. However, many students would like to have more extended opening hours, or even some area to be open throughout the day and night. Not all operations performed in the library go always smoothly. Sometimes printers/copiers or self-service book return/lending machines fail to work; WiFi coverage or its speed is not always sufficient; the needed book is not available or cannot be taken home. The concentration of students is occasionally disturbed by the noise coming from the open atrium, etc.

The respondents of the satisfaction survey made a series of proposals how to improve library services and study environment. Several innovations have been already implemented or are under way to make the library more user-friendly for its visitors.

ELA as a connecting link and provider of profession

Katre Riisalu, President of the Board, Estonian Librarians Association
Anneli Sepp, Vice-President of the Board, Estonian Librarians Association

In the course of ten years the framework of professional qualifications in Estonia has been in a constant change and development that has had its impact also on librarians. The 2008 Professions Act established also in Estonia an eight-level framework instead of the previous five-level system. The provider of the profession of librarian has been the Estonian Librarians Association. It is possible to apply for the profession on the basis of the old system until the year 2013. From 2006 to 2012 the librarians were granted 890 professional certificates.

The professional qualifications can be obtained through formal education, adult learning, as well as continuing professional development.

Every year the ELA makes its own contribution to continuing professional development. Annually the Organisation arranges about twenty seminars, information and study days, training courses or camps, which are attended by about 800 librarians.

Professional qualifications could be necessary for librarians in order to value their work and profession, because the profession could also serve as a quality indicator.

Joint seminar of the Nordic and Baltic States in Helsinki

Katre Riisalu, President of the Board, Estonian Librarians Association

On 12-13 September 2013, after many years a joint seminar of librarians from the Nordic and Baltic States took place in Helsinki. It was eight years since librarians had convened to jointly discussed librarianship issues. One of the goals of getting together was to offer the Baltic and Nordic colleagues opportunities to share their ideas and exchange experience. A ten-member delegation from each state was expected to participate. The guests from Estonia included Kaie Holm, Asko Tamme, Kaili Õunapuu-Seidelberg, Ilme Sepp, Inga Kuljus, Veronika Raudsepp Linnupuu, Lea Rand, Kristina Pai, and Maia Tammjärv. The two days were filled with constructive presentations, providing subject matter for further thinking. Director of the Tartu City Library, Asko Tamme, delivered a comprehensive report on the public libraries of the Baltic States. The materials of his presentation were compiled by country and will be published as separate articles in the Yearbook. The participation of the Estonian delegation was supported by the Ministry of Culture.

Estonian public libraries in the winds of change

Piia Salundi, Head of Sauga Library

In 2012, there were 986 libraries in Estonia, among them 50 research and special libraries, 559 public libraries, and 377 school libraries. In 2009, the state support for acquiring items for public libraries dropped significantly; still the number of visits and loans was increased, and the amount of library users also grew considerably. However, from 2011, the total number of visits and loans went into decline. The number of library users showed an upward trend to the year 2010, but has since also dropped.

Public libraries are important community centres. It has become more and more difficult to bring children, especially teenagers, to books and reading in the present ’smart’ era, that is why public libraries pay much attention to this problem. The demand for e-books is slightly increasing and some public libraries lent out both e-readers and e-books. As compared with our Southern neighbours, Estonian libraries are generally in a better situation; however, there is a long way to go to reach the figures similar to those in Finland.

Libraries of Latvia: today and tomorrow

Silvija Tretjakova, President, Library Association of Latvia

In 2012, there were 1 761 libraries in Latvia, almost half of them, or 46% were public libraries. During the last four years 175 libraries have closed their doors, mainly due to different structural changes; however, in 2014, a new building of the National Library of Latvia will be opened. There are still many library visits in Latvia – more than 21 million visits per year. 3 260 librarians are employed in Latvia. In 2006, the National Library of Latvia launched the Latvian National Digital Library Letonica programme, focussing on digitising newspapers; by now more than 3 million newspapers have been digitised. One of the most considerable and innovative collection of the National Digital Library is the collection of historical photos “In Search of Lost Latvia”.

In November 2006, a large-scale cooperation project between the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched for the development of Latvian public libraries. In the result of the project 825 libraries were provided with a uniform virtual Internet and free Wi-Fi access. The quality and speed of Internet was nationally improved. In recent years many libraries have been renovated and reconstructed. In 2010 – a year of reading and bringing cultures close together – the National Library of Latvia in partnership with the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO initiated the World@your Library project with the aim to preserve and develop further the tradition of story-telling through the understanding of local heritage. The role of libraries in the cultural policy “Creative Latvia” is formulated as a necessary resource for ensuring the development of an intelligent and sustainable society.

Lithuanian public libraries

Alina Jaskūnienė, President , Lithuanian Librarians Association

The network of Lithuanian public libraries comprises 1 300 libraries, among them five regional libraries to render services in five major cities, and 1 295 libraries working under the authority of local municipalities (60 central libraries, 154 city libraries, and 1 081 rural libraries). The Lithuanian public libraries operate pursuant to the Libraries Act, for the first time adopted in 1995. The Lithuanian cultural policy was approved by the Lithuanian Parliament in 2010. Within the cultural policy libraries are important institutions responsible for the development and preservation of national culture. The state programmes carry out several important activities: the renovation and modernisation of libraries, the digitisation of Lithuanian cultural heritage, the promotion of reading, the training of librarians, etc.

The cultural heritage of Estonians in exile and its preservation

Anne Valmas, Researcher, Centre of Estonian Exile Literature, Academic Library of Tallinn University.

The Estonians who had escaped to the West in the early 1940ies used all possible ways to maintain their identity that resulted in the emergence of Estonian culture in exile. All the Estonian schools, organisations and clubs worked with the aim of uniting the Estonians and preserving and carrying forward the traditions of national culture.

The largest community of Estonians was in Sweden, which became a leading country of Estonian expatriate culture with a large number of cultural figures, researchers, and politicians. There was an active social life also in post-war Germany, Canada, the USA, Australia, and England.

One of the most essential and consistent vectors of cultural life was the Estonian-language written word, in which the works of Estonian writers in exile hold a special position. Nevertheless, also voluminous reviews of the life and social engagement of Estonians in different countries were published, in addition, study literature and books introducing Estonia. An important role to play had also the media, helping the expatriate communities survive and keep together. Numerous magazines and newspapers were issued across all these countries.

To preserve national culture, the archives collecting literary works, documents, and museum items were established. The major archives were the Estonian Archives in Australia, Estonian Archives in the United States, Estonian Central Archives in Toronto, and Dr Endel Aruja Archives and Library of Tartu Institute, etc. In Canada, also a museum of Estonians in exile is being created.

The printed word and records of archival value of the period of exile are collected also by memory organisations in Estonia. The Centre of Estonian Exile Literature at the University of Tallinn Academic Library has the most complete collection of Estonian exile literature. Estonian exile books and archives are also preserved at the National Library of Estonia, University of Tartu Library, Estonian Literary Museum, Estonian National Museum, National Archives of Estonia, and at some smaller memory institutions of Estonia.

In 2008, the Baltic Heritage Network Non-profit Association was created with the aim of collecting information on the Baltic diaspora, in particular on the cultural heritage of expatriate Estonians, contributing to its preservation and collection, and making it available to the public.

Who was Hans Wühner?

Mart Jaanson, Lecturer in Music Theory, Chair of Music, University of Tartu

The article is about the life of Hans Wühner (1836-1911), a personality of the first generation of the Estonian Awakening Period. Wühner was a versatile person that was a characteristic feature of intellectuals of his era. Despite his diversity of interests he managed to achieve significant results in all fields of his activity. Wühner was one of the most successful school teachers, renowned musicians, influential politicians, and progressive farmers of his time. He also did a lot for the church. Wühner’s idea about life-long learning, which was published in a newspaper in 1869, has become an integral part of a modern society.

However, in spite of his great merits Wühner has not acquired the same position in the cultural memory of Estonians as his famous contemporaries Jakob Hurda and Carl Robert Jakobson.

Laureat of the ELA Annual Award 2013 – Rutt Enok

Reet Olevsoo, Head of the Office, Estonian Librarians Association

Rutt Enok has connected all her life with librarianship. She has worked at the Harju County Library in Keila since 1972, first as a methodologist, later Director Deputy and Director. The County Library was located in narrow rooms, on the floor area of scarcely 600 square meters; the librarians had been eagerly awaiting a new building for years. In 2012, the new library rooms were opened to readers at Keila School. 2013 was a year of fruit ripening: reader service as well as the organisation of events gained momentum in the library’s everyday life. During the first full year in the new premises, 75 exhibitions were opened; in addition to books, also graphics, leatherwork, ceramics, photos, etc. were displayed.

By the Annual Award the ELA acknowledged Rutt Enok’s long-term commitment to her work at directing the Harju County Library that culminated in the opening of the library in the new premises. 

Laureat of the ELA Prize of Merit 2013– Sirje Nilbe

Sirje Nilbe graduated from Tartu State University in 1978, majoring in the Estonian language and literature, followed by postgraduate studies in Estonian philology (1978-1981). She obtained her Master’s degree in information studies at Tallinn Pedagogical University in 2004.

Sirje Nilbe can be named the coryphaeus of the work done in the field of classification and authority data. In 1986-1999 Sirje Nilbe worked at the University of Tartu Library; in 1997-2013 at the National Library of Estonia. She edited the „Estonian Subject Thesaurus“, both the print and online publications; was involved in preparing the guidelines for terminology and standards; was a member of the INNOPAC implementation leading group and active in several other working groups, among them the ELA classification and indexing panel, ELA terminology panel, ELNET Consortium classification and indexing working group, etc. Sirje’s participation in international organisations is also worth mentioning. She belonged to IFLA working groups (from 2003, member of the expert group developing guidelines for cataloguing; from 2005, member of the classification and indexing section committee). In addition to all that, Sirje has translated and edited information sciences documents; has taught classification and indexing, and professional terminology at formal studies and vocational training, and at the short courses of continuing professional development.

The ELA has recognised her work on developing „The Estonian Subject Thesaurus“ by the award Research Library Deed of the Year 2009; in 2010 the University of Tartu Library presented the Badge of Merits; and in 2013 the Estonian Library Network Consortium granted the Annual Award ESTER.

Colleagues from the Authority Data Working Group, National Library of Estonia

Children’sLibrarian of the Year 2013 – Margit Lättemägi

Ere Käärmaa, Deputy Head, Tapa Public Library

Margit Lättemägi was trained as a primary school teacher and has worked in this position for 15 years. In 2002 she continued her career at the Children’s and Youth Department of the Tapa Public Library.

In March 2013, the all-national poetry reciting contest for primary school children Ellen Niiduga Midrimaal (With Ellen Niit in Midriland) was held for the fourth time, every time with Margit in the role of the leader and scriptwriter of the event. The meetings with writers and artists have become the most awaited events at the library, they are like family parties. Together with other teachers Margit does a lot of pre-work, so that the events are visited by the best informed audience and the performers have been always praised. In all her big undertakings as well as in daily routine Margit remains a very modest person, never putting herself at the forefront or trying to be in the centre of attention. She just performs her duties, and in the result, with no much fuss, small and big tasks are accomplished.

Rural Librarian of the Year 2013– Merle Rang

Merle started to work at the Viljandi County Vastemõisa Library in 1994. She has always been an active community member and has given her best to bring the residents of her region to the library and literature.

In 2012/2013, in addition to traditional events, Merle initiated several new ones. Merle was one of the organisers of the Vastemõisa Christmasland in December 2012, arranging the Children’s Christmas Room for reading books aloud and making crafts. Lugu loob, jutt jookseb (The story creates, the story-telling runs) is a series event for the children of primary school, organised in partnership with a storyteller Piret Päär. „The One O’clock Tea“ continues all year round and introduces the people of the region. The first meeting was dedicated to the writer Albert Kivikas. Among the guests has been the Municipality Mayor as well as the Governor. Together with Pastor Kristi Sääse the issues of the vitality of Estonia and Estonians were discussed. The highlight of the 2013 events was „The library picnic“, held in the Marana flower garden, with Kristiina Ehin as a keynote speaker. The guests could enjoy the beauty of lilies; meet a flower collector and developer of lilies, Mati Rang. Merle’s strong desire is to make the picnic a traditional summer event.

Merle stands in the centre of community life and makes the library visible by her activities and brilliant ideas.


School Librarian of the Year 2013 – Helve Rehepapp

Elle Amor, Librarian, Primary School at Keila Gymnasium

Helve Rehepapp started her career at Keila Gymnasium on 1 January 1975. This year celebrated her 39th working year in Keila. Much has changed since that time; now at the disposal of the library is a spacious and lightful room in the new building of Keila Gymnasium, where prevails accuracy, order, and silence. The school and the Harju County Library have a close cooperation. Being a member of its Board, Helve also helps to solve the problems facing the County Library. She is an active participant in the national school librarians summer seminars and was involved in organising the Harju County summer seminar. In 1980-1987 Helve was a member of the School Libraries Committee at the Ministry of Education. Helve loves her work very much. Her motto is a quote by the orator Cicero „A room without books is like a body without a soul“. She is convinced that work with children helps keep the soul young.

TownLibrary Deed of the Year 2013– Lääne County Central Library International Fairy Tale Conference „The Power of the Fairy Tale“ with a subtheme „Tell me a Story“

Kristi Märk, Project Manager and a cooperation partner, Haapsalu Cultural Centre

From 24-25 May 2013 the town of Haapsalu lived and breathed in the rhythm of fairy tales and storytelling. This time the Fairy Tale Conference focused on collecting and preserving cultural heritage, the importance of reading, and a specific character of Haapsalu, covering regional, national as well as international dimensions. The accomplishment of such a grand, with several foreign speakers conference, was a result of a successful collaboration between many partners. The main organisers managed to involve the Municipality of Haapsalu, the Haapsalu Youth Centre and the Cultural Centre, the Haapsalu Junior Chamber International, and a number of volunteers.

The Fairy Tale Conference, which brought a lot of new people and positive excitement to Haapsalu, was reflected both in the regional and national media. Best of all characterises this undertaking the sentence sounded on Estonian TV: „A correctly constructed and well-presented tale can change the world – a fact perfectly known by both commercial agencies and pastors“. And this is really true.

Research Library Deed of the Year 2013– Metsiku „bibliotek“: a book exhibition, written works, performance

Sirje Lusmägi, Specialist of Rare Books, National Library of Estonia

The book exhibition „Metsiku „bibliotek“: a story of a National Awakening library“ was on display in the Rarities Exhibition Hall from 10 September 2013-8 January 2014.Compilers Sirje Lusmägi, Liis Tamm, and Kaire Lass; designer Tiiu Laur.

Quite a few thrilling stories are connected with the Metsiku Learning Society book collection, though it was just a small village library. In 1966, the acquisition librarians of the Kreutzwald State Library of the Estonian SSR discovered in Lääne-Virumaa an almost entirely preserved 19th century peasants’ library.

About one third of the books originated from the Metsiku Learning Society Library operating in 1872-1889, one of the oldest libraries born at the joint initiative of rural people. The National Library registered 2365 publication and manuscript units, in 1971 as a memorial fund under the Archival Collection. The memorial collection was indicated as „The Metsiku collection“.

In 2002, 130 years after the foundation of the Metsiku Learning Society Library, on the basis of its collection the first exciting and comprehensive exhibition was put together. Likewise, in 2013 while designing the exhibition dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the National Library and the 20th anniversary of the Library building it was decided once more to display the Metsiku books and manuscripts.

The exhibition was opened on 10 September, the day of jubilee festivities. Simultaneously, a jubilee performance in the foyer of the National Library took place, VAT Theatre „Metsiku village bibliotek“, inspired by the Pruul family and the documents and manuscripts of the Metsiku Learning Society. In conclusion, it was a thought-provoking performance that proved good publicity for the exhibition and the reading habits of Estonian people.

The Best Young Librarian 2013– Veronika Raudsepp-Linnupuu

Veronika earned ELA acknowledgement for launching and coordinating a successful Viljandi City Library project Kultuurikonks (Cultural hook). The project was also recognised by Viljandi Government, presenting Veronika the County Deed of the Year 2013 award. The aim of the project Kultuurikonks was to increase people’s interest in the reading of cultural publications and the County newspaper, and draw attention to the organisers of local cultural and sport events. During the same year Veronika carried out another major project „People of Viljandi in the photos of Jaan Riet“. The aim of the exhibition about local history was to evaluate Jaan Riet’s art. The photos depict 37 persons who are directly or indirectly connected with Viljandi. The Estonian Library Days in 2013 started with the opening of this exhibition.

Veronika Raudsepp-Linnupuu is a person of action. In addition to her basic work at the Viljandi City Library, she is involved in the kindergarten’s Board, the City’s Cultural Committee and the trade union. She is the Chair of the Working Group on Fresh Approach created at the ELA. Veronika always finds the ways of implementing fresh ideas for promoting literature and librarianship.


Life in Parallel Worlds

Anu Vahter, Director, Saare County Central Library

A book of reminiscences „Elu paralleelmaailmades. Meenutusi Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu saamisloost 1982–1997” (Life in parallel worlds. Recollections of building the National Library of Estonia 1982-1997) by Ivi Eenmaa, Director General of the National Library of Estonia (1984-1998), tells the reader a story about the years of struggle of the National Library for its place in Estonian librarianship and the construction of the new building at Tõnismäe.

The book is divided into chapters that cover different construction stages, a substantive development of the library, the opening ceremony and everyday life of the library, etc.

Special chapters are dedicated to the Estonian monumental art in the National Library, friendship, and the search for partners in Estonia and around the world. In addition, also Mihkel Reial, Director of Technology, and Mati Kibin, Director of Building Services, share their memories; and the discussion presented in the book reveals how special and exciting the location of the library is. The book is richly illustrated with numerous photos.

A special chapter is on a festive opening of the new library building on 11 September 1993. Eenmaa writes that they had been preparing for this event in their soul from the beginning of the construction. The chapter also includes a full text of the remarkable inaugural speech by President Lennart Meri.

Activities of ohe Estonian Librarians Association in 2013

The year 2013 will be remembered as a jubilee year of the Association – in February the ELA celebrated its 90th anniversary. About 200 librarians convened in Pärnu in May to attend the X Congress of Estonian Librarians „Choose the library“, where the period between the two congresses was summarised. In September, the representatives of the Nordic and Baltic States got together in Helsinki to share experience and restore the contacts.

In 2013, the ELA had 808 active members, among them eight honorary members and one foreign member. The Board included nine members who held eight meetings. The activities of earlier created structural units went on smoothly; in addition, a new Working Group on Fresh Approach was initiated. One paid librarian was employed at the ELA Bureu.

The general meeting of ELA members was held in the conference hall of the National Library of Estonia on 28 February 2013. The meeting approved the annual report 2012, the reports of financial and audit committees, and the new ELA logo. The best among the best librarians were granted recognition. From 2013, also the best young librarian is being acknowledged.

On 14 March 2013, the Professional Council for Culture approved the professional standards for librarians on level 6, level 7, and level 8. This launched the further process – the ELA Professional Committee drew up the procedure and evaluation standards for granting the librarian profession, and reviewed other documentation. The ELA was a participant in the open competition for the provider of the profession of librarianship. By the resolution of the Professional Council for Culture of the 20th November 2013 the ELA was again declared the provider of the profession for the next five years. In 2013, the ELA granted profession to sixty eight librarians.

The libraries submitted their own propositions to the ministries and working groups responsible for drawing up strategic documents – Estonian Cultural Policy 2020 and Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020. A new professional standard was completed; the revision of the Code of Conduct for Librarians is under way.

The nationwide Library Days were held from 20-30 October, under the leadership of the ELA for the 23rd time already. The opening of the Library Days took place in the cultural heritage town of Viljandi in partnership with the Viljandi City Library. The VII Research and Special Libraries Day took place in the hall of the Estonian Literary Museum on 22 October. The XII Rural Librarians Day was held on 25 October, this time in the Harju County Library in Keila. The motto of the Day was „The possibilities of life in rural areas“. By the joint efforts of the ELA and the internal bus company SEBE 30 libraries were opened on the long distance buses. The collections of books representing Estonian and foreign authors were placed in the boxes marked with Library Days stickers. For a novel approach in promoting reading habits the Marketing Institute awarded the ELA with the Marketing Star of the 42nd week.

On 12-13 September, Helsinki hosted the conference of the Nordic and Baltic librarians „New challenges – new thinking“. One of the goals of the meeting was to offer the Baltic and Nordic colleagues the opportunities to share their ideas and experience. The representation of ten people was expected to participate from each country. The report about the librarianship of the Baltic States was prepared in collaboration with Latvian and Lithuanian book associations.

The ELA is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and currently belongs to its three sections; Classification and Indexing, Education and Training, and Management of Library Associations.

In partnership with the National Library of Estonia the ELA published the journal Raamatukogu.

Activities of the Estonian Libraries Network Consortium 2013

Riin Olonen, Development Manager, Estonian Libraries Network Consortium (ELNET Consortium)

As of the end 2013, the Consortium had nine members and six partners, the last to join the ELNET Consortium in 2013 were the libraries of Estonian Defence Forces. The Defence Forces Libraries Network comprises also the Estonian War Museum Library and the International Defence Studies Centre. The online catalogue ESTER is compiled by all the libraries, the number of libraries participating in other joint activities and projects differs. To coordinate cooperation, the Consortium has created six working groups; in addition, the round table is convened to discuss topics related to e-books.

The important news in the management and development of the information system ESTER is preparing the independent Tallinn and Tartu units for the merger and transfer to a new software version Sierra in 2014. The project is supported by the Education and Research Ministry. In the result of the merger of the systems the information resources procured by libraries can be linked into one whole and researchers, learners and other library users will be offered an improved, more convenient and safer information service.

In 2013, 15 years passed since the implementation of the online catalogue ESTER. The capacity of the catalogue (both and, as of 31 January 2013) was 3 177 784 titles and 3 825 086 copies (the annual growth respectively 43 484 titles and 446 885 copies).

In 2013, the Estonian Defence Forces Library of Headquarters joined the Estonian articles database ISE; from November the library bibliographizes for ISE articles related to the Defence Forces, the Estonian Defence League and its special organisations, the Ministry of Defence, national defence, and war history. 1891 new subject headings were added to the „Estonian Subject Thesaurus“ at the request of the ESTER databases, the database ISE, and public libraries.

The work on short-term periodical publications was launched at the joint database of „Digitised Estonian Newspapers“. Many of such newspapers were issued only a few times. On the basis of the technical requirements of the Europeana Newspapers project a huge work on adapting 300 000 pages was done; the entity recognition of these pages and segmentation into articles is about to start in 2014.

The ordering of academic information databases was continued with the financial support within the e-Research Information Programme and beyond. The Consortium mediates research information with state licenses to a broader circle of users other than the users of member libraries of the Consortium. For example, the state licenses of EBSCO databases were actively used by fifty six institutions. During the year, 22 893 564 enquiries were made, 498 723 articles read/recorded (to compare, in 2012, 10 152 241 enquiries and 446 090 read/recorded articles and in 2011, 5 788 409 enquiries and 369 951 read/recorded articles).

The Consortium also continued to acknowledge its outstanding employees. The Annual Award ESTER! was given out for the third time; this year it went to the Manager of the „Estonian Subject Thesaurus“, Sirje Nilbe.

Activities of the Estonian Music Library Association 2013

Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaaal, Chair, Estonian Music Library Association (EMLA)

In 2013, the EMLA had 14 members, 11 institutions and three individual members. Traditionally, twice a year they got together for larger events or trainings. On May 3, the conference „Music and Library“ dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Sound Recording Department of the University of Tartu Library was held in Tartu. The honorary guest of the Conference was the former president of the IAML, a long- time friend and supporter of Estonian music libraries, Pamela Thompson from England.

A two-day autumn seminar, held on 18-19 October in Tallinn, was inspired by the centenary of the building of National Opera Estonia and was dedicated to both national opera and opera music in general.

Addressing the issues related to video recording lending rights went on also in 2013. Though during the previous years different options for solving video lending problems were considered, in the current situation it is reasonable to concentrate only on the ammendment of the Copyright Act. The EMLA is an organisation which promotes cooperation between music libraries and represents professional interests. The EMLA is the Estonian branch of the IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres).

The EMLA is a member of the Estonian Music Council and Estonian Music Centre.



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