STATUTES OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
I - GENERAL PROVISIONS
- The National Library of Estonia (henceforth the National
Library) is an information, science, cultural institution established
by National Library of Estonia Act and its main objective is to help
along the development of Estonian Republic and each person by cooperating
with other information and library organizations in collecting, preserving
and making accessible information resources. The National Library was
established on December 21, 1918.
- The National Library is a legal person in public law
who operates pursuant to the Constitution, the National Library of Estonia
Act, this statute and other legislation articles in accordance with
UNESCO recommendations to national libraries and corresponding directives
of European Union.
- The National Library has a seal with small image of
coat of arms of the state and with its name, symbolism in accordance
with valid legislation and bank accounts.
- Official interpretations of National Library name are:
in English – National Library of Estonia
in German – Estnische Nationalbibliothek
in Russian –
in French –
Bibliothèque nationale d´Estonie
- Official abbreviation of National Library name is NLE
(in Estonian RR).
- All documents given out and sent out and signed by
National Library bear its official name.
- Symbolism of National Library contain its emblem and
flag. On the emblem there is an image of an open book protected with
a roof, acute letter R on both pages of the book. The flag is square
shaped white twofold cloth, 105x165 cm large and is fringed. On both
sides of the flag are the emblem of National Library and a writing National
Library of Estonia (Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu). The emblem on the flag
and small letters of the writing are blue, large letters are black.
The flag and emblem are used according to the order of usage of the
flag and emblem of National Library.
- The National Library is located in Tallinn, the postal
address is Tônismägi 2, 15189 Tallinn.
II - TASKS OF
the NATIONAL LIBRARY
- The National Library carries out the tasks of public
and parliamentary library according to National Library of Estonia
Act in accordance with described tasks in classifications of these
library types passed in UNESCO and IFLA.
- The tasks of the National Library according to the
National Library of Estonia Act are:
- acquire, permanently preserve and make publicly accessible
documents published in Estonian, in Estonia and about Estonia or documents
containing information about Estonia;
- collect, preserve and make publicly accessible exhaustive
information and documents concerning humanities and social science
as well as selective information in other spheres;
- acquire, preserve, process, analyse and make accessible
information and compile and publish documents for the Parliament,
Parliament Chancellery, Government of the Republic, ministries and
- create and disseminate databases of current Estonian
national bibliography on all data carriers and participate in joint
program of retrospective Estonian national bibliography;
- operate as the national centre of publishing and
- operate as the central law library of the country;
- operate as the national agency of International Standard
Book Number (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN);
- register and exchange official publications of the
Republic of Estonia pursuant to procedures provided for in legislation;
- compile and publish bibliography of Estonian law;
- maintain the Parliament Archives in adherence to
the legislation regulating maintenance of archives and in compliance
with the terms of agreements concluded by the Parliament Chancellery;
- operate as a depository (depot library) for international
organizations in compliance with the terms of international agreements;
- conduct research in library matters, bibliography,
information science and in related fields, provide consultation to
all libraries and participate in the international as well as national
projects of development, science and cooperation;
- act as mediator of world culture and as a cultural
- To carry out its tasks the National library:
- guarantees public accessibility to information and
collections in library’s use (if not limited by law or contract) using
all its information technology opportunities and developing services.
Main services are lending documents for use on the spot, making copies
of documents stored in the library pursuant to the Copyright Law,
ordering documents and copies thereof from libraries in Estonia and
abroad, lending documents and copies to other libraries, providing
access to public databases, compiling reviews and reading lists, selective
informing of humanities and social science, information bibliographic
search of documents and providing expert opinion according to the
tasks of the National Library;
- cooperates with Estonian and foreign libraries and
research, document and information centres;
- develops library professional technological procedures,
designs corresponding information systems, elaborates computer programs
and creates databases;
- takes part in public cultural events and develops
and supports national culture in all its ways of expression;
- guarantees service to institutions named in point
10 sub-point 3 of this statute;
- takes part within the limits of its competence in
elaboration and application of legal acts and international agreements;
- participates in international and national science
and development activities;
- conserves and restores publications;
- cooperates pursuant to contracts with legal and physical
persons of Estonia and foreign countries to develop the National Library
and promote Estonian librarianship;
- gives consultations within the limits of its competence,
organizes seminars, conferences and other events;
- organizes exhibitions and introduces cultural values
and information recourses in other ways;
- organizes complementary training to Estonian library
THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF the NATIONAL LIBRARY
- The National Library in carrying out its tasks has
a right to:
- receive information from institutions and organizations
possessing it in carrying out tasks foreseen in National Library of
Estonia Act and this statute;
- establish legal persons according to private law;
- form its structure, internal working order and exploitation
order of the National Library;
- determine rate of pay of services of the National
- sign contracts and perform other legal operations
with legal as well as physical persons of Estonian Republic and other
- make business deals and organize retail sale pursuant
to procedures provided for in legislation in accordance with the objective
and foreseen tasks named in the National Library of Estonia Act and
- perform other operations resulted from legislation
and this statute.
- The National Library is obligated to:
- guarantee the fulfillment of the tasks assigned by
the National Library of Estonia Act and this statute in accordance
with the confirmed National Library budget;
- guarantee free of charge service to the members of
the Parliament and the Parliament Chancellery in the order foreseen
in utilization manual of the National Library in accordance with the
confirmed National Library budget. Other constitutional institutions
are served under general instructions;
- annually present to the Ministry of Culture the annual
report of activities of the National Library.
IV - MANAGEMENT
OF the NATIONAL LIBRARY
- A collective body to pass resolutions concerning
the National Library is the Supervisory Board of the National Library
(henceforth the Supervisory Board).
- Membership in the Supervisory Board, duration of
authorization and working order as well as activities of the Board
for fulfillment of the tasks assigned is enacted by the National Library
of Estonia Act.
- Resolutions of the Supervisory Board shall be binding
for the staff of the National Library.
- The General Director of the National Library is responsible
for operability and development of the National Library.
- According to the National Library of Estonia Act
the General Director shall be elected by the Supervisory Board for
a term of five years pursuant to the procedure provided in point 20
of this statute.
- The Supervisory Board shall elect the General Director
on a publicly declared competition at least two months before the
expiry of the General Director’s term of service and not later than
two months after the termination of employment contract of the General
- The competition is declared in the name of the Supervisory
Board in at least three Estonian newspapers with largest distribution.
All Estonian citizens, who have experience in management or coordination
of library activities and who present in time their CV and their vision
of National Library’s development can apply. Elected is the candidate,
who collects the majority of votes of the members present. In case
of an equal vote the Chairman or, in his/her absence, the Deputy Chairman,
shall have the deciding ballot.
- The Chairman, or, in his/her absence, the Deputy
Chairman, of the Supervisory Board shall enter into employment contract
with the General Director.
- During his/her term of service the General Director
stops his/her belonging to a political party.
- The terms of pre-schedule release of the General
Director from his/her term of service are enacted by the National
Library of Estonia Act.
- The General Director of the National Library shall:
- perform duties pertaining to the areas of coordination,
government, administration and management resulted from the National
Library of Estonia Act, this statute and resolutions of the Supervisory
- exercise, pursuant to his/her competence, the highest
administrative and disciplinary power in the National Library;
- gives orders and decrees, which are mandatory to
the personnel of the National Library;
- appoint to office the Scientific Secretary, directors
and heads of structural units;
- represent the National library by post in Estonian
and foreign institutions.
- represent the National library in the name of the
National Library pursuant to the authority provided in the National
Library of Estonia Act and this statute;
- decide problems pursuant with the authority provided
related to assets at National Library’s possession, utilization and
disposal, open accounts in banks and control the financial recourses
of the National Library in accordance with the National Library’s
budget confirmed by the board;
- confirm the rate of pay of services of the National
- guarantee the implementation of the Supervisory Board’s
resolutions and report to the Supervisory Board;
- guarantee the implementation of the budget of the
National Library and present the Supervisory Board with the corresponding
- decide other problems assigned to him/her by law
and this statute.
- The structure of the National Library is confirmed
by the General Director, the boundary amount of personnel is confirmed
by the Board.
- The General Director of the National Library or a
director appointed by him/her appoints to office and releases from
office and enters into employment contract with all National Library
- The rights and obligations of the users of the National
Library are enacted in a utilization manual of the National Library,
which is confirmed by the General Director.
- The rules of behavior in working relations of the
National Library and its personnel are determined with internal working
manual of the National Library.
- The structural units of the National Library operate
in accordance with their statutes. The statutes of the structural
units of the National Library are confirmed by the General Director.
- The list of paid services of the National Library,
the order of possessing, using and disposing of the National Library
assets and the order of salary payments of the National Library personnel
(principles of salary payments) are confirmed by the Board.
- Managerial order in the National Library is determined
by the managerial order confirmed by the General Director.
- The conditions and order of using fire-safety equipment,
rooms and working equipment is established by the General Director
or a director appointed by him/her.
- The utilization order of the National Library foundations,
databases and computer network is assigned by corresponding instructions
confirmed by the General Director.
- The order of maintaining the Parliament Archives
is assigned by the Board of the Parliament.
VI - ASSETS
- The National Library posses, uses and disposes its
assets pursuant to the procedure provided in the National Library
of Estonia Act for the performance of the statute duties in the order
assigned by the board.
- The assets of the National Library shall include:
- property transferred by the state into the legal
ownership of the National Library pursuant to the State Assets Law
and the National Library of Estonia Act;
- property transferred by another person for the benefit
of the National Library;
- assets originating form the activities of the National
- The National Library shall, upon the decision of
the Supervisory Boards, transfer the assets not necessary for the
performance of the duties of the National Library.
- The National Library has the right to transfer immovable
property in its ownership and conclude loan agreements only with the
permission of the Government of the Republic.
- The National Library is not entitled to guarantee
third person's liabilities, credit loans, give donations or be a stockholder
or a shareholder of a commercial undertaking.
- The activities of the National Library shall be financed
from the allocations from the state budget, earnings from paid services
and assets from other sources.
- The National library shall be financed from the state
budget pursuant to procedure provided for in State Budget Act.
- The budget of the National Library shall be composed
of all the revenues and expenditures. Receipts beyond the state budget
shall be divided among the budget of the National Library on the general
bases unless restricted by the law or by special conditions set for
- The National Library shall maintain bookkeeping and
statistical accounting of the utilization of its assets and equipment
pursuant to procedures provided by law.
CONTROL, SUPERVISION AND REPORTING
- The State Audit Office shall exercise supervision
over the economic activities of the National Library.
- The Minister of Culture has the right to suspend
illegal actions of the Supervisory Board or of the General Director,
or of legislation issued by them and make prescriptions for removing
- The order of internal control of the National Library
is assigned and results are listened by the board.
- The National Library is liable for reporting pursuant
to scope and procedure provided in law or legislation.
MODIFYING AND IMPROVING OF THE STATUTE OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
- According to National Library of Estonia Act § 10
section 1 point 3 the modifying and improving the statute of the National
Library is in the competence of the board.
IX - TRANSFORMATION
AND TERMINATION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
- The activities of the National Library are transformed
or terminated by the law.
Redaction of the statute of the National Library
is confirmed with board decision on June 10, 1998.