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).