Tallinn Central Library has many books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, games, sporting equipment and musical instruments. You can use them at the library or borrow them home with you. In order to do this, you must be registered in the library and have a library card.
To obtain a library card you need:
Library card is free for people up to 19 years old (including). Read more about the campaign “Born to be a reader“.
It is free of charge to register with the Estonian national ID-card or a residence permit card. More information can be found here.
There are many fun things to watch on the library’s Youtube channel.
Do you want to do some fun arts and crafts projects? Then watch the playlist Lastele: Meisterda Minuga and follow simple instructions for many different arts and crafts projects from materials that are available in most homes. The librarian will be speaking in Estonian but the visual instructions are clear enough for anyone to follow, regardless of language skills. Also, it’s a great way to practice Estonian.
Do you want to listen to poetry, stories and fairy tales? Or perhaps you’d like to watch a nice puppet theater show or have some exercise? Then head over to one of these playlists:
Lastele: luuletused, muinas- ja muud jutud is an Estonian language playlist where you can find fun stories that sometimes come hand-in-hand with exercise.
Lastele: tegevust has various children’s activities in Estonian.
Для детей (lastele vene keeles) has stories (with cat Mosja) and puppet shows in Russian.
Tallinn Central Library’s campaign “Born to be a reader” encourages families with small children, as young as a few months old, to visit their local library. Make your child’s first library experience a special one and make sure they are well acquainted with using to the library before starting school. Books are a great way to support your child’s development and the sooner you start, the bigger the positive impact.
Parents need not worry about their small children ruining books. The library does not ask for reimbursement if a preschooler ruins a picture book, a cardboard book or a block-lettered book.
The library card will be free of charge for all preschoolers. The card will be gifted to the child in a lovely card pocket, which can become a keepsake for the entire family. In the future, it will bring back good memories of past library visits and books that were borrowed.
The family is also encouraged to take a photo next to our “Born to be a reader” picture wall, which is a great way to record their first library visit in a memorable way. Parents are encouraged to share this photo in their social media so the rest of their family and friends can witness the event.
Reading challenge for families
Small children can participate in the reading challenge by playing a puzzle game “We like to read”. Participation is very easy.
The author of the “Born to be a reader” designs is an Estonian children’s book illustrator Ulla Saar.
The project “Born to be a reader” is supported by the Estonian Folk Culture Centre’s program “Supporting regional culture activity”.
Call a librarian, who will read a fantastic children’s book to a child! Read more here.
All of our libraries offer library lessons and excursions to kindergarten and school classes. During these excursions, children are introduced to the library and its history. They will also be taught about becoming a library reader. They will be introduced to the electronic catalog ESTER and shown how to use the library.
Library lessons are held by appointment. Themed library lessons are scheduled in advance. Currently, due to the danger of Covid-19, most library lessons and excursions take place online. In order to inquire about participating, please contact the library that you are interested in.
Participation in library lessons and excursions is free of charge.
The librarians of the Department of Literature in Foreign Languages offer to help you with your homework. They do not do the work for you, but instead support you and help you find good and reliable information. The librarians will meet with you online and meetings take place either in Estonian, Russian or English languages. Help is free of charge. More information and pre-registration: 683 0961 or email@example.com.
The Department of Literature in Estonian also offers to help you with your homework, those meetings take place in Estonian or Russian languages.
Homework help is on summer vacation. See you again in autumn!
The Department of Literature in Foreign Languages has a Russian-language puppet theatre “Neskuchayka”, with puppet shows for pre-schoolers and primary school students. Pre-registration is necessary by phone or by e-mail at: 683 0961 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NB! The puppet theatre is currently on vacation. Videos of older performances can be found on the library’s Youtube channel.
The workshop is meant for children who wish to improve their spoken Estonian. The workshop is held every Wednesday at 13.00 at the Department of Literature in Foreign Languages (Liivalaia 40).
Come and practice by reading out loud to our reading dogs! A dog does not judge or scorn you for mispronouncing a few words. Just read, have fun and over time you may discover that your fear of reading has disappeared. During the Covid-19 danger, the reading dogs will meet with you online.
Find out more about our reading dogs here.
Katarina Jee is a library bus that serves various areas in Tallinn where there are not enough libraries. The bus runs on a specific set route. Schedule and route can be found here.
On Fridays, “Katarina Jee” may be invited to visit kindergartens, schools, orphanages etc.
In case you have missed your due date, you can choose to either pay the fine or to read a book in the library. 1 cent = 1 minute of reading.
How to read yourself free? Just choose a book, inform the librarian and start reading. When you finish, tell the librarian a little bit about the book you just read. The librarian will then reduce your fine, according to the time you spent reading. You can also divide the minutes of reading between several days.
You can only reduce the fine by reading if you have missed the due date by less than a year.
You can read yourself free when you are 18 or younger.