Last week, Klassikaraadio's "Raamatuhoidja" paid a visit to Lääne County Central Library. Located in in the coastal resort town of Haapsalu, the nearly 160-year-old library can trace its roots back to Club Musse, a 19th century entertainment lounge established to serve local and visiting members of the intelligentsia.
Haapsalu has been home to a public library for nearly 160 years. The library was established in 1866, when Club Musse opened a small library to cater to the local German intelligentsia as well as summering members of high society with the help of mostly German- and French-language reading materials.
The library was also accessible to more affluent local Estonians fluent in foreign languages, but as increasing numbers of Estonian societies started to crop up at the end of the 19th century, so did the Kungla Society of Haapsalu in 1895. The latter established its own library as well, which it opened to readers in 1896 and later took on the duties of Haapsalu's town library.
The library has relocated several times over the course of its lengthy history, and the Lääne County Central Library in Haapsalu is currently located at the Haapsalu Cultural Center at Posti 3.
Library director Ilme Sepp wrote in "Lugejale avatud," a memoir dedicated to the library, that constantly renewing written word, alert coworkers and readers have all helped avoid her work becoming routine. A librarian's work puts them in touch with a lot of local residents, and one way or another, their finger is constantly on the pulse of what's going on in town.
Click here (program in Estonian) to listen to the Lääne County Central Library episode of "Raamatuhoidja" (55:16).
Editor: Aili Vahtla