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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