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Issued 6 numbers a year

Address: "Raamatukogu" office, National Library of Estonia, Tõnismägi 2 Tallinn 15189 Estonia
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Editorial board: Malle Ermel, Mall Kaevats, Gerda Koidla, Aira Lepik, Reet Olevsoo, Ilme Sepp, Tiiu Valm, Anne Valmas


Dear colleagues,

Writing or speaking about shortcomings is naturally not a gainful undertaking, in librarianship, too; however, systematical practice also counts – in spite of certain hopelessness it brings along. It was already in the previous century, in the year 1999, when I pointed out chances the Estonian literature has in Estonian (public) libraries’ collections and possible results of indifferent acquisition strategy (a concept, strategy, is in!) in my editorial. Though I have not been deeply involved in the matter, meetings with my colleagues – librarians, who attend my literature lectures, have given me an impression that neither they nor library users take deep interest in recent Estonian literature today. A more popular book of a more eminent author is perhaps still taken from the shelf, but otherwise a painful indifference to Estonian belles lettres prevails. Nevertheless, a concerned taxpayer addresses us with a question: “Have Estonian libraries decided to entirely liquidate Estonian literature? /---/ Why doesn’t an Estonian library order every book by Estonian authors?” (Eesti Ekspress, 6 November 2001). I cannot provide a good answer to these questions; there are better-informed men and women, who might not be on the payroll of libraries at all, who are to do it. I can only repeat lines published in the same newspaper on 22 November 2001, about the possibilities of a librarian at Meerapalu, who was allocated 5,000 EEK for purchasing books, and one thousand EEK even less for newspaper and magazine/journal subscriptions last year. And although the journalist reports that the library’s reader’s desks at the window have become arched and book shelves have sunk askew, the librarian is in spite of everything satisfied and happy, and continues to sow together loose leaves of borrower’s cards… Perhaps such a patient and brave librarian should be sent to a learning tour to the libraries of Estonian districts, where cultural life is more vigorous – accompanied by her leaders! Of course, with that kind of leaders, who on one hand, can see the difference and, on the other hand, make financial decisions. Have not tried to find out, though I should, how many new works of Estonian writers are placed both on those shelves, which have sunk askew, as well as the other shelves – more superb and straight. In my opinion it is high time for us to think why libraries are “afraid” of Estonian belles lettres, in respect of especially younger authors. Hereby I repeat my thought, which I uttered years ago, asking: Do we know now who are our most eminent authors and classics after five, ten, or twenty years? Public librarians should carry the burden of the introduction Estonian literature, even if anyone else doesn’t care indeed. I don’t believe that it would break anyone’s back; rather can one be proud of oneself.

Maire Liivamets



First News - Sirje Virkus

A lecturer at the Tallinn Pedagogical University’s Department of Information Studies, Sirje Virkus, has left Estonia for England for several years to get her Dr.Inf.Sci. Degree at the University of Manchester. In the column she describes the first impressions the town, university and libraries of Manchester have produced.


Estonian Library and European Cultural Space - Piret Lotman

The Estonian library is a phenomenon of European culture. However, not only a library as an institution, but also printed materials included in library collections integrated the Estonian libraries from the pre WW II period to the European cultural space. Our common identity and memory was concealed in those texts. The library policy of Soviet occupational authorities did not only destroy a major part of literature, important for the Estonian society, but also interrupted consistent development of the Estonian library. The Estonian libraries, especially research libraries, of newly independent Estonia are in a difficult situation. On one hand, they have to fill in the lacunas, inherited from the occupational times, and on the other hand, take into consideration the half-a-century long changes in librarianship of the cultural space, where we naturally belong.


Public Libraries Get Online - Meeli Veskus

An overview of a project for connecting public libraries to the Internet, initiated by the Ministry of Culture in 2000 and realised by the Estonian Informatics Centre. In 2001 Internet connections of Tartu county’s public libraries’ were set up; today the public libraries of Hiiu county and Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, are completely online, too, the later used no government help for that. In 2002, 7.5 million EEK will be allocated for the project’s realisation; however, the sum is not sufficient for connecting all Estonian public libraries to the Internet.


About Music Libraries’ Cooperation in Estonia and Abroad - Aurika Gergeleziu

In 2001 the Estonian Music Library Association / Estonian IAML Branch celebrated its 10th anniversary with a conference at the Estonian Academy of Music. The article provides a brief overview of both the association’s activities during its ten-year existence, as well as the conference. The author focuses on the developments in the association’s work in connection of its integration to international speciality activities – its collaboration with Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish, and USA music libraries and active participation in the work of International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML).

The Digitisation of the Sound Recordings Archives of the Estonian Folklore Archives of the Estonian Literature Museum (EFA) - Jaan Tamm

The Sound Archives of EFA, established in 1927, includes both the recordings of Estonian folk music, as well as non-music folklore. The archives are arranged into collections on the basis of the classification of sound carriers. The article provides an overview of the contents and present physical conditions of separate collections; and of the conservation of sound recordings on Digital Audio Tape (DAT) cassettes and archiving them in CD-ROM format.

The Music Department of the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum - Tiiu Tosso

The Estonian Theatre and Music Museum acquires, archives, processes and publishes material about Estonian musicians and theatre persons. The museum’s Music Department has especially rich collection – it includes over 500 personal collections and over 300 collections of Estonian choirs, societies, etc. The manuscript collection approximately totalles 16,000 original manuscripts by Estonian composers. Historical music instruments and personal objects, which once belonged to musicians, form a major part of Music Department’s resources.

About Recorded Sound Library of the Estonian Academy of Music: Music and Added Value - Kaie Viigipuu

The recorded sound library of the Estonian Academy of Music is a systemised collection of sound recordings, which forms an important part of music library. The recorded sound library technically supports learning process, providing for the translation of music into various rooms, and for listening and recording music. The article gives an overview of the development of recorded sound library from its establishment in 1940s up to the present, and its current possibilities.

Music Reading and Listening Room at the Lääne-Viru County Central Library - Rita Tammetalu

The new building of Lääne-Viru County Central Library was originally designed to also house a Music and Art Department. However, the situation demanded allocating joint premises for music reading and listening room and a Public Internet Access Point with six workstations in 1998, when the building was officially opened to the public. During the four initial service months the technically well equipped music reading and listening room was visited by 8,000 readers. The reading room collection cumulates music literature, newspapers and magazines/journals, sheet music, approximately 1,200 LPs, over 800 CDs, and about 300 audio cassettes. The reading room staff organises musical evenings, concerts, and lectures. The collection is reflected in the computer catalogue and lending services are electronically performed.


About a Book by Ilse Lehiste’s - Mati Hint

An overview of Ilse Lehiste’s, one of the most well known Estonian linguists, book Keel kirjanduses (Language in Literature), published in the series, Eesti mõttelugu (Estonian History of Ideas) in 2000. Ilse Lehiste is among the founders of acoustical phonetics, an experimental phonetics classic, who has taken keen interest in languages with difficult phonetics. Most of her life Mrs. Lehiste has lived in USA and held the position of a professor at the Ohio State University.


The Working and Rest Time Act’s Provisions About Moonlighting - Heli Naeris

A briefing about future possibilities for moonlighting in Estonia, because according to the Estonian Working and Rest Time Act it is unlawful to moonlight since 1 January 2002.



In a Music Reading Room: Avo Kartul - Anneli Sepp

Avo Kartul, a head of Tartu University Library’s Centre for Music and Language Studies, has developed a unique record collection over the years of practice. He also has been the leader of the Estonian Music Library Association / Estonian IAML Branch for a long time. There are few music collections in Estonian libraries and several difficulties have occurred in acquiring sound materials (sound recordings were not equalized with printed publications until in the Legal Deposit Copy Act from 1997 came in force). The author also considers the one-sidedness of sound record business a serious problem – the Estonian music is not systematically released.


450 Years from the Establishment of the Library of Tallinn at St. Olai’s Church - Tiiu Reimo

The first library of the town of Tallinn, Bibliotheca Revaliensis ad D. Olai, founded in 1552, celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2002. The list of books preserved from the earlier St. Olai’s library collection, compiled by its first librarian Heinrich Bröcker, covers the five initial pages of the accession book and is presented in eight subdivisions. 108 works in 131 volumes are described. The list compiled by the end of the independent existence of St. Olai’s library in 1803 already registered 2732 volumes. After the relocation of the collection for several times the St. Olai’s Church Convent deposited it to Tallinn General Public Library in 1831, which the Literary Society of Estonia (Estländische Literärische Gesellschaft) got hold of in 1842. In 1951 a decision was made to include the collection in the Research Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic collection. Fortunately, the Literary Society of Estonia’s library collection was in one piece preserved in the Rear Book and Manuscript Section, which was reorganised into a Baltic Literature Department in 1968. Considering the value of historical books in the collection, the St. Olai’s library is the largest old book collection in Tallinn, closely related to the development of Estonia and its cultural history.

Estonian Peasantry Law - Helle Remmelt

The first President of the Republic of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, was a lawyer by his profession. Being already active politician, he still continued to take interest in jurisprudence. In 1901 an enlarged and revised edition of the Estonian Peasantry Law (from 1856) was published in Estonian, Päts being its translator and publisher. Päts returned to the subject later, too; in 1911 his book, Eestimaa talurahva seaduse arenemise ülevaade (An Overview of the Development of Estonian Peasantry Law) was published.


Head of the Archival Library of the Estonian Literary Museum Merike Kiipus, Director of the Central Library of Pärnu Saima Andla, Head of the Estonian Librarians Association’s Bureau Reet Olevsoo, and Marketing Director of the National Library of Estonia Triin Soone share their visions about an ideal library.


How Do Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian School Libraries Do? - Vaike Kurel

An overview of an autumn seminar of the Estonian Librarians Association’s School Libraries Section “The Development of School Libraries in the Learning Society” on 7 December 2001 in Tallinn. Lithuanian and Latvian colleagues also participated in the event to share their work experience.


In memoriam August Palm - Merike Kiipus

In February a hundred years will pass from the birth of August Palm, widely known in Estonian culture history as a literary critique, a historian of literature, journalism and books, a translator and a bibliographer. The author of the piece mostly introduces Mr. Palm’s activities as a Head of the Bibliography Department of the Estonian Literary Museum since 1940.

About the Examinations for Doctor’s and Master’s Degrees

On 7 December 2001 the Doctors’ Board of the Tallinn Pedagogical University’s Department of Information Sciences confirmed Dr.Inf.Sci. Degree on Tiiu Reimo, the head of Baltic Literature Department of the Estonian Academic Library; her Doctor’s thesis was a monograph Raamatukultuur Tallinnas 18. sajandi teisel poolel (Tallinn Book Culture at the Second Half of the 18th Century).

Ivi Tingre – 70 – she was a Library Counsellor for the Ministry of Culture for a long time, and also the President of the Estonian Librarians Association.
- Ilse Hamburg – 70 – a researcher of the history of Estonian bibliography.
- Valdemar Vilder – 75 – a foreign member (Australia) of the Estonian Librarians Association; holding the position of the head of the Committee for Sending Books to Estonia at the Estonian Heritage Society in Sydney, he has organised the delivery of Estonian and foreign literature to libraries, archives, etc.
- Mati Muru – 65 – for a long time he was the Head of the Viljandi College of Culture’s Chair of Librarianship.


2001 - 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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