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Libraries and books

Libraries have an important role in the society: to preserve cultural heritage and make information available everywhere in Estonia. Libraries also help people navigate the information society, support lifelong learning and develop reading habits.

Estonia’s library network functions on the basis of common principles and long traditions. It ensures that people have free access to information. Libraries have also become community centres, where various events take place and other services are offered. One in two persons in Estonia visits libraries.

Statistics on libraries and books provide information such as:

  • what are the reading habits of Estonian people;
  • how often are libraries visited;
  • how many books are borrowed;
  • how many paper and e-books are published each year.

Data on libraries are collected and processed by the National Library of Estonia. The statistics are commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, which uses the data to coordinate and develop the library network.

Library attendance of persons aged 15 and over 37.4 %
2017
Persons aged 15 and over who read books in the previous 12 months 756.4 thousand
2017
Copies of books printed 2,330 thousand copies
-10%
2020
E-books in Estonian 1,261
50%
2020
Originals in Estonian 1,506
-1%
2020
Titles of printed and e-books | 2011 - 2020
Children's books published in Estonia | 2001 - 2020

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On 22 June, the phone lines of Statistics Estonia’s customer service are open until 13:00. The phone lines are closed on 23 and 24 June. Happy Midsummer!