The story of the performance celebrating the 95th anniversary of Estonian National Library and 20th anniversary of the current library building takes place in 1872 in Metsiku village.  Local farmers are having a meeting in order to discuss founding a library. The village is located in Kadrina parish, and the library „Õppija Seltsi Pibliotek“ was one of the first libraries in the country founded on the locals’ initiative.

During the 18 years of the library’s existence 678 books were purchased, and they were actively used by the locals. The readers included both men and women which is clear evidence about Estonians’ literacy and interest towards learning. In 1880 a new law was passed in Russia according to which all the libraries of the Empire became subjects to the ministry of education. There was a rigid control over foundation and operation permits. For an Estonian farmer it was difficult to obtain official foundation documentation, and therefore Metsiku library was terminated in 1889.

After the termination all the books remained with the Pruul family, who continued lending them out unofficially. In 1966 the employees of Kreutzwald National Library happened to go to this forgotten village of West-Virumaa quite by chance, and ahead they found a complete and well preserved collection of books. In 1968 it was purchased by the National Library. Currently Metsiku library collection is part of Estonian National Library archive collection.

Texts appearing in the play „Pibliotek of Metsiku Village“ include Danel and Hans Pruul’s diaries, H. Remmelt’s „The Story of Metsiku Library“, C. R. Jakobson’s „Patriotic Speeches“, A. H. Tammsaare’s „Truth and Justice“, O. Luts’s „Spring“, A. Gailit’s „Ekke Moor“.

Partners: VAT Theatre, Avision, OÜ Trumm

We thank the Estonian Cultural Endowment!

Premiere: September 10, 2013 in National Library foyer

Author and director: Aare Toikka
Dramaturg: Siret Paju
Design: Pille Kose
Video: Taavi (Miisu) Varm
Lighting: Sander Põllu
Choreography: Marge Ehrenbusch
Sound design: Anna-Liisa Eller, Tanel Ruben, Taavi Kerikmäe & National Library Women’s Choir conducted by Annely Surva and Kristi Jagodin
Technicians: Allan Räim, Raul Õitspuu
Young man’s speech: Annika Koppel
Performers: Tanel Saar, Katariina Ratasepp, Meelis Põdersoo, Margo Teder, Ago Soots Kadi Reintam, Anna-Liisa Eller, Tanel Ruben, Taavi Kerikmäe Virumaa women: National Library Women’s Choir
Speakers: Young reader Kaspar Gräzin, General director of Estonian National Library Janne Andresoo, President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves