Borrow Books

The collections of the National Library can be found in the ESTER online catalogue and in the search portal of the National Library. 

Items that can be borrowed for reading at home include books, serial publications, and musical scores located in the stacks and reading rooms that are marked as AVAILABLE in the ESTER online catalogue, as well as magazines from the German, Austrian, and Swiss open access collections. 

Publications that are not lent for reading at home include those that are marked as FOR USE IN LIBRARY or NOT FOR LOAN in the ESTER online catalogue, as well as publications on open access shelves marked with a red dot.  

Each reader may have up to 5 books or serial publications and 5 musical scores checked out from the library at a time. Publications in the stacks can be ordered to be delivered to any reading room (waiting time is 15 minutes), where they are reserved for the reader for up to 3 working days. Orders placed on the same day are accepted until half an hour before the library closes.

Readers can order, queue up for, and apply for loan period extensions for books and other publications in several ways: 

Ordering and returning books to our Book Dispenser (located in front of the main entrance of the National Library at Tõnismägi 2): 

Books stored in the stacks can also be ordered to be delivered to our Book Locker for reading at home. The Book Locker is filled and emptied five times a day (10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, and 18:00), three times a day (12:00, 15:00, and 18:00) on Saturdays, in July, and in August, during the library’s opening hours. When your book has arrived, you will be notified by e-mail. Delivered books can be checked out with your ID card or library card. 

When ordering books to the Book Locker, the National Library cannot guarantee the availability of a free drawer. If there are no free drawers, the user will be notified by e-mail and the ordered items can be received from the Information Centre on the 5th floor during the library’s opening hours. 


Due dates and extension

Loan periods and extension: 

  • books and serial publications: 30 days, can be extended 3 times (if there is no demand); 

  • musical scores: 3 months, can be extended 3 times (if there is no demand); 

  • books on the open access shelves in reading rooms: 7 days, no extensions; 

  • information science magazines: 7 days, and books: 30 days (located in the Social Sciences Reading Room); 

  • German, Austrian, and Swiss collection magazines: 7 days, and books: 14 days (located in the Humanities Reading Room). 

Due dates cannot be extended in the following cases: 

  • for literature located in the reading rooms; 

  • if there is demand for the publication; 

  • if the due date has been exceeded; 

  • if the reader is in arrears. 

Return points

  • self-service terminal in the foyer; 

  • reading rooms; 

  • the National Library’s Book Locker (located in front of the main entrance of the National Library at Tõnismägi 2). 

In the event of failure to return a publication by the due date, the reader will be charged a contractual penalty of 0.32 euros for each day of delay for each overdue publication in accordance with the Rules for Users of the National Library of Estonia

In the event of damage to or loss of a publication, please notify the library by e-mail or phone as follows: 

Publications must be replaced with an identical or equivalent publication. If the publication cannot be replaced, the reader shall reimburse the value of the publication.