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Address: "Raamatukogu" office, National Library of Estonia, Tõnismägi 2 Tallinn 15189 Estonia
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Editor ENE RIET, Second Editor MAIRE LIIVAMETS, Text Editor ELLEN ARNOVER, Copy Preparator TIIU TALI, Designed by KERSTI TORMIS, Cover photos by MALEV TOOM


The present situation and the future of school libraries – the issue to which the School Libraries Section of the Estonian Librarians Association has already tried to draw attention for a long time – was brought into sharp focus last year when the National Library of Estonia announced its plan to stop serving basic school pupils. The libraries benefited from the painful reaction of pupils because it focused public attention on the inadequate situation of school and public libraries in Tallinn as well as throughout Estonia.

The state of Estonian school libraries has so far been relatively neglected on the pages of Raamatukogu. Perhaps the causes of this have been the school librarians’ fear to express their problems in written form, and the editors’ failure to encourage them.

Today the situation has changed. Keen public interest in pupils’ opportunities for reading has challenged the librarians to participate in the discussion. And where else should they say what they have to say but in the professional library journal? A special column for this topic in Raamatukogu enables all interested persons to express their thoughts.

But this is not the only problem which Estonian librarianship in general has to face. Little understanding of and failing to listen to each other have become usual phenomena among Estonian librarians – especially, where the future of libraries is concerned.

The dance around the development plan of Estonian libraries which began last autumn reminds me of the episode in the series X-Files where, irrelevant to human activity, the borderline between the virtual and the real worlds disappears. The virtual characters from a computer war game created by young programming enthusiasts become alive and the game of life and death turns into a drastic reality for the players; and several of them get killed. I sincerely hope that all the developers of Estonian librarianship are clear about what needs doing, to what extent and how to take action; so that the well-meant plan will in the end not become a war game which has a life of its own and bring about casualities. So far, we live day after day, do our job as well as we can and believe in a better future.

Ene Riet



The Power of Books Katrin Kivimaa
The author reminds us that together with the changes of social order often lists of banned and disdained books are drawn. At the present we also confront a choice what to take and what to leave from the publications of the occupational times. But it may also be that the so-called ‘wrong’ books from which we try to get rid of, for instance, by taking them to the dump, might teach us something instead. Anyway, in English bookshops the works of Marx and several Leninists are placed on special shelves.


School Libraries Want to Develop Themselves Ester Sõrmus
The head of the School Libraries Section of the Estonian Librarians Association in 1998–2001 summarises her three-year activities and stresses the present sore points of Estonian school libraries. First and foremost, the school libraries lack the development plan and coordinated management; and the level of school libraries differs to a great extent – depending on the school administration and acquisition opportunities. The author also touches upon the problems arising from the joining of school and public libraries and explains the risks it brings along. It is important to keep in mind the fact that a school library has, first and foremost, educational functions and goals.

The Library of Tallinna Reaalkool Kiira Petser
This short article compares the former and the new library premises of a famous Realgümnasium in Tallinn. Because the just finished premises are not yet completely ready for library activities, the author recollects the times of renovation work and moving the collection. The date of founding the library is considered to be 16 September 1949.

The School’s Learning Centre Lembi Plukk
The library of Tallinn Humanitarian Gümnasium is considered to be the best school library in the town. It was opened together with the school in 1977. The establisment of classes for extra learning of German in 1978 and including the classical languages and culture history into the curriculum in 1988 has largely determined the acquisition areas. As a result of the rearrangement of school space distribution in 1997, a learing centre was developed which includes a library, a reading room, a computer classroom and a video classroom. Computer lessons already begin in the first forms; in the video room pupils watch video films and slide programmes. The school has the Internet connection; one of the computers is located in the teachers room, another in the corridor of the first forms’ classrooms. The library uses a library system, Kirjasto 3000.


Using the Library without the Help of Others Kaie Viigipuu
The article reviews the user training activities at the Estonian university libraries. A questionnaire was performed in six of such libraries, the five of which already provide systematic user training. The questionnaire included the concept, forms, contents and feedback of user training, as well as the library’s relations with the university. User training was mostly understood as the library introduction, the provision of basic training for information retrieval, compiling the lists of used sources, an library consultation work. The widespread forms of user training are a library using course or a training course in the computer class, a library tour, a lecture, publications and the Web-based distant training courses.
The libraries would mostly like to expand their user training activities as well as to make them obligatory for the readers (today solely at the Tallinn Technical University). The feedback has predominantly been positive or never asked. A user trainer’s potential to do and his/her professional training for pedagogical work was emphasised.
This all depends how important does a library consider the user training to be and does it succeed in finding capable and interested people for this work. And last but not least, it also is part of the library marketing. It is clear that today the user training cannot be a marginal area of library work any more. The author sees the necessity for the cooperation and further training of the specialist of the field.


The Kõrveküla Library in the Refection of Time Merike Karolin
Its predecessor, the Library of Tartu Region, was founded in 23 December 1951. The author provides an overview, illustated with many facts, how the library has had to change its name and location over time.


The Best Estonian Parish Library Krista Talvi and Ruth Hiie
During the Year of the Estonian Book a contest for the best parish library was held with an aim to encourage the reestablishment of parish libraries. About twenty congregations responded, though only 15 took part in the the contest. Though the winner was not announced, the committee got an adequate overview of the Estonian ecclesiastical libraries. The earliest parish library in Estonia is considered to be founded by Aleksander Ludvig Baumann at Karuse in 1842. In the mid 1930s the Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church initiated the organisation of parish libraries. For example, 79 congregations of the existing 166 maintained a library in 1937. The measures to reestablish the meanwhile forgotten parish libraries have been taken from the 1990s.


Patkuliana in the National Library of Estonia Sirje Lusmägi
The article treats the opposition of Johann Reinhold von Patkul (1660–1707), born to the Livonian German gentry, and the Swedish authorities and the reflection of their conflict in the printed word. This includes the books published during Patkul’s lifetime and shortly after his execution. The opposition began when the Swedish government initiated a plan to take back some of the land formerly given to the Baltic gentry as a gift. Patkul was a representative of the Livonian Landtag in Stockholm. He was too much aggressive in his quest for justice and was sentenced to death behind his back by the authorities as a rebel. Later, Patkul devoted his life to strenghtening the anti-Swedish coalition using his high positions at Augustus II the Strong, king of Poland and elector of Saxony, and Tsar Peter I; he is considered to be one of the initiators of the Great Northern War (1700–1721). Following the Treaty of Altranstädt, the Saxons extradited him to the Swedes who executed him. The Swedish authorities and Patkul both actively used printed word to spread their views and decry the opponent. Patkul published document collections which were to prove the right of the Livonian gentry to their land and privileges as well as an anti-Swedish political pamphlet. Stockholm answered with burning Patkul’s publications and publishing material which discredited him. When Patkul was put to death in an extremely cruel way, he became a political martyr and the amount of written pieces which treated him grew. Several historical research papers, novels, plays, even a collection of anecdotes was published for which a concept of Patkuliana already emerged in the 19th century. The article takes a close look at the Patkuliana documents in the Rare Book Collection of the National Library of Estonia, also describing the ownership marks and handwritten comments in the copies. It includes a longer descrption of a continuation on history, Gespräche in dem Reiche derer Todten..., which presents Johann Reinhold von Patkul’s meeting a well-known contempory, Georg Heinrich von Görtz, a baron (Freiherr) who was a key financial and diplomatic adviser to King Charles XII of Sweden, among the shades.


Basic Statistical Indicators of Estonian Public Libraries in 2000 Heli Priimets and Margit Jõgi
The user services have increased every year. In 2000 Estonian public libraries served 104,605 registered users more than in 1994. The growth rate of library visits is constantly high – compared with the year 1999, it was 9.6% higher in 2000. The number of library loans increased from 1992 to 1999; its decrease in 2000 was related to the shift to the new basis for statistical accounting – from 1 January 2000 the in-library use of documents is no longer considered a library loan.
In 2000 Estonian public libraries averagely had 1.5 computers; the average in central libraries was the highest – 15.6 computers – and the lowest – 0.7 computers – in children’s libraries. Library software was used by 195 public libraries (34% of Estonian libraries of general use). 213 libraries, e.g. 37% of Estonian public libraries had the Internet connection.



Mati Sirkel, Anne Valmas and Kersti Tiik about the Literature which Was Selected for the 100 Books which Have Influenced the Estonian Life Most
Mati Sirkel, the Chairman of theUnion of Estonian Writers, Anne Valmas, the Director of the Estonian Academic Library, and Kersti Tiik, the Head of the Exhibitions Services Department of the National Library of Estonia, answer to the editor’s question ‘Does the literature which was selected for the exhibition 100 Books which Have Influenced the Estonian Life Most deserve to be called the Golden Library of Estonians. To sum up, they consider the selection miscellaneous.


Aspel – Was He a Classic or Was He Not Maie Kalda
The author introduces a collection, Kirjad Pariisist (Letters from Paris), by Aleksander Aspel (1908–1975), an Estonian literary researcher, which was published in the series, Eesti mõttelugu (Estonian History of Ideas). The 1930s should be considered the golden age for Aspel, and for the Estonian literary criticism as a whole. Aspel who had close connections with the French literature and cultural space (he taught the Estonian language in Paris and was later, from 1946, a lecturer of the French language and culture in the United States) was, besides being an elitist, a wonderful popular educator. His aim was to mediate the French culture in the Estonian languge that he, indeed, practiced in many ways as the reviewed collection shows.


Critical Success Factors in Libraries Aira Lepik
The article reviews the critical success factors approach for an organisation’s performance measurement and analysis. The critical success factors is an area where an organisation should definitely gain success to be efficient. The article analyses the use of critical success factors in the information science studies, relating the need to determine the success factors above all with the management by results and strategic development plans of a library.


The Conference Valuable Literature in a School Library Vaike Kurel
An overview of the conference Valuable Literature in a School Library – the Educator of a Civilized Nation at the National Library of Estonia, 27 April 2001, primarly attended by school librarians and the teachers of the Estonian language.


About the Council of Estonian Public Libraries
Proceeding from the Public Libraries Act, a consultative organ, the Council of Public Libraries, which advises the library councellor of the Ministry of Culture was established on 15 January 1998. The Council gathered the librarians’ opinions of the developments in Estonian public libraries in the near future, the most frequent of which are presented in this overview.

An Estonian Research Libraries Meeting at Kääriku
The regular winter seminar of Estonian research libraries at Kääriku took place on 12–13 March. This year it focused on the development activities of research libraries, and the functional problems of the ILS INNOPAC and the electronic catalogue ESTER.

The Meeting of the Research Board of the National Library of Estonia
The goal of the NLE Research Board is to coordinate the research and development work in the areas of librarianship, book research, informatics and related fields. Here a brief overview is given of the Board’s meeting on 16 April 2001. At the meeting the basic principles of MIPROM (Mercuri International Project Management System) as well as the M.A. thesis of the National Library of Estonia employees who had obtained their degree at the Tallinn Pedagogical University were introduced and the core and supportive processes of the National Library of Estonia were discussed.

The Upgrading of the Estonian Libraries Database ESTER
The author introduces the changes in the Tallinn server of ILS INNOPAC.

The Closure of the Year of the Estonian Book
The Central Committee of the Estonian Book Year held the closing conference of the Year of Estonian Book , From a Cloister to the Internet, in Pärnu on 5–6 April. The conference drew the conclusions of the vast scope of the fields lying between the ecclasiastical literature and the Internet. Philosophers, historians, book history researchers, politicians, literary researchers, and others presented their different kind of papers. The optimism towards the future of the book was general.

Richard Antik Day
The events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Richard Antik, a distinguished Estonian book researcher and bibliographer, at the Estonian Literary Museum are introduced.

The Estonian Children’s Literature Information Centre, an Estonian children’s magazine, Hea Laps, the Estonian Librarians Association and Estonian Student Council Union launched a project, Lugemine lubatud (Reading Permitted), which began on 1 February 2001 and will end on 1 February 2003. The project aims to investigate the situation of the libraries of Estonian basic schools and find ways to solve the problems related to the children’s reading possiblities.

The children’s literature round table of the year 2001 met at the Estonian Children’s Literature Information Centre. The round table addressed the public with a standing point that the Republic of Estonia lacks official policy for children’s culture and the chidren’s literature is not valued on the national level.

The Estonian Children’s Literature Information Centre’s project and the Muhv prize
On 5 May the Estonian Children’s Literature Information Centre awarded the Muhv Prize (Muhv (Muff) is a character from a children’s book, Naksitrallid (Three Jolly Fellows), by an Estonian writer, Eno Raud) to Krista Kumberg, a bibliographer at the Children’s Department of the Central Library of Lääne County. The prize is given for the best children’s publications and treaties of reading habits of Estonian children of the two recent years.

Congratulations: Virve Ennosaar – 75
A merited librarianship developer, Virve Ennosaar, who has been at the services of the National Library of Estonia for a long time celebrated her 75th birthday on 19 May 2001.

2001 - 2, 1

2000 - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
1999 - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2