Minister of Culture Anneli Ott confirmed the thematic years in the field of culture for the next three years. 2022 will be dedicated to libraries, 2023 will be the year of exercise, and 2024 will focus on cultural diversity.
“Next year is noteworthy because, based on user needs, libraries are in the process of changing. And this has motivated the choice of next year’s theme. The role of libraries is increasingly changing from being a repository to being an adviser, guide and educator. Also, the ever-increasing amount, and faster pace, of information, as well as the digital revolution, are assigning completely new responsibilities to libraries in both the social and educational sphere,” noted Minister of Culture Anneli Ott. “Libraries are becoming community information and counselling centres that benefit all of us – be it in terms of more available services and information, or simply as a way to improve and educate ourselves,” added Ott.
The National Library of Estonia will start preparing and implementing the programmes for the library theme years. In 2023, sports will pick up the baton for the library theme year, so as to increase people's interest in exercise and healthier lifestyles. The year dedicated to exercise will draw attention to the fact that, despite improved statistics, we still lag about 20% behind the Nordic countries, where at least 75% of the population engages in regular exercise. In 2024, the diverse cultures and traditions of the various nationalities living in Estonia will be introduced, as will Estonia's own unique cultural spaces and communities. The executors of the plans for 2023 and 2024 will be announced at a later date.
The Ministry of Culture has been organising thematic years since 2000, when the Estonian Book Year was celebrated. The aim of the thematic years is to bring attention to a cultural field or theme each year. The thematic years that have been organised to date include: the Year of Art, the Year of the Estonian Theatre, the Year of the Museum, the Year of Reading, the Year of Estonian Film, the Year of Cultural Heritage, the Year of Music, the Year of Maritime Culture, the Year of Children and Youth, the Year of Digital Culture. Descriptions of all the thematic years to date are available on the Ministry of Culture website.