The Centre Party is promising a new stoplight in Pirita. The Reform Party is offering “fresh energy” and they say they’ll make Haapsalu the Venice of the North. All those things are nice, but what I’d really like is for the national library to be open more than seven hours a day. After all, if it is, as its website claims, the “custodian of our national memory and heritage, the centre of Estonian literature...” and “the most valuable information provider for our legislative body and other constitutional institutions,” then can all that really be accomplished in a mere seven hours? If there are other research libraries in the world open so few hours a day, I’m not aware of them. Washington DC’s Library of Congress is open thirteen hours a day. The British Library is open at least ten. Even la Bibliothèque nationale de France is open nine to five. But the Estonian National Library opens later and closes earlier than even a Paris clothing boutique.
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