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Tallinn libraries opening early at start of nationwide teachers' strike

Tallinn Central Library.
Tallinn Central Library. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

As teachers across Estonia are scheduled to go on strike starting next Monday, Tallinn Central Library is opening its more than dozen locations across the capital early on January 22-24, welcoming kids to come in to read and study.

Tallinn's city libraries will open at 9 a.m. instead of their usual 10 a.m. or later, and will be offering educational activities for children, according to a press release.

According to Tallinn Deputy Mayor Kaarel Oja (SDE), the planned teachers' strike has widespread public support, however the circumstances will nonetheless pose difficulties for some families, particularly those with younger children that can't be left home alone or taken along to work.

"While primarily schools themselves are providing alternative activities for students during the strike, our network of libraries and their staff can offer support, and we have decided to do so," Oja explained. "The libraries are welcoming children on their own as well as groups of students gathering at school during strike days, accompanied by school staff."

Tallinn Central Library director Kaie Holm emphasized that the library always warmly welcomes children and young folks.

"Here they can read, play thinking and board games with friends as well as find space for studying and quiet concentration," Holm said. "If needed, librarians can provide reading recommendations and help with schoolwork as much as possible. Some libraries also have volunteers to help librarians."

The Estonian Educational Personnel Union (EHL) is organizing a nationwide, open-ended strike for general education teachers beginning Monday, January 22; kindergarten and vocational school teachers are also permitted to stage sympathy strikes of up to three days in length as well.

Tallinn Central Library branch libraries typically closed on Mondays will be open from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Monday, January 22; the Estonian Literature Department at Estonia pst 8 and the Foreign Literature Department located at Liivalaia 40 will both open at 9 a.m. and close as usual.

On Tuesday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 24, all libraries will open at 9 a.m. and close at their regular times.

Click here for locations and more info regarding Tallinn Central Library and its branches, and here to visit the library's dedicated children's page.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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