Estonia is covered with a comprehensive network of libraries, which operate on the basis of library standards and regulations. The Estonian library system has a long tradition and is used by every second inhabitant of Estonia.
- 540 public libraries
- 44 science and specialised libraries;
- 363 school libraries.
State and library network
The activities of libraries in Estonia are regulated by the Public Libraries Act, the Legal Deposit Act and the National Library of Estonia Act.
Work is currently on-going regarding the amendments of two important sectoral Acts.
During the amendment of the Legal Deposit Act, the Ministry of Culture compiled the draft Legal Deposit Copy Act. The draft legislation aims to update the submission, collection, and storage of publications important for the culture of Estonia. The Legal Deposit Copy Act will be enforced as of January 1, 2017.
The process of updating the Public Libraries Act has also begun.
Libraries in Estonia
Estonian National Library
Estonian Storage Library
Estonian Library for the Blind
Estonian Children’s Literature Centre
E-items and e-services
Estonia has implemented a lot of e-solutions to improve the accessibility of books.
DIGAR is the digital archive, or e-library environment of the Estonian National Library, which contains books, newspapers, magazines, maps, music sheets, photos, postcards, posters, illustrations, audio books, and music files.
URRAM is a web-based system created jointly by the Ministry of Culture, Vaata Maailma SA and Urania Com OÜ, which allows the use of many library services via the Internet. URRAM provides an overview of all the items in school, museum and specialised libraries.
ELLUELLU is the e-library of Tallinn Central Library, which gives access to the work of Estonian authors and books both in Estonian and Russian.
Index Scriptorum Estoniae (ISE) is a public and freely accessible Internet database of articles published in Estonian newspapers, magazines, collections of articles, and other serial publications. New material is added to the database each day by 12 Estonian libraries. Administrative and development matters are handled by the ISE working group of the ELNET Consortium database.
DEA digitised newspapers
DEA stands for digitised Estonian newspapers and is a public, freely accessible database of old Estonian-language newspapers. DEA contains a selection of Estonian newspapers from the years 1821 to 1944, plus some Estonian-language newspapers issued abroad after 1944.
The Red Book of Estonian Publications
The Red Book of Estonian Publications is a list of publications that are considered valuable for our cultural memory. The nominees are chosen on the basis of their cultural worth, availability, preservation risks and condition.
KoduluguThis portal of regional studies is a common system of Estonian public libraries for storing regional information. From the system one can search for articles and other items related to a specific area, and to read longer texts and encyclopaedic materials.
The science department of the Ministry of Education and Research
Estonian Librarians Association (ERÜ)
The association unites 800 librarians and a number of libraries. Through ERÜ librarians can have their say in the development of library affairs. ERÜ organises trainings and professional events, and improves the librarians’ professional qualifications. ERÜ issues a yearbook and Raamatukogu magazine together with the Estonian National Library. ERÜ is a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Consortium of the Estonian library network – ELNET Consortium
A non-profit association that was established in order to protect the public interests of libraries, which develops and manages the integrated library system Millennium, the e-catalogue ESTER, which is based thereon, and the Estonian article database ISE.
Phone +372 628 2244