Frequently Asked Questions - Library Services in Emergency Situation


Frequently Asked Questions

The library building

  • Is the main building of the library (Struve 1) open?

No, due to the emergency situation, the main building of the library is closed at least until 18 May 2020. Only the Smart Locker can be accessed for picking up the requested books from Monday to Friday at 12-18. Books can returned at the same time to the books return box in the lobby of the library. 

  • How long will the library remain closed?

The library will be closed until the end of the emergency situation, i.e. at least until 18 May. We will inform you about all possible changes and share news on the library homepage and Facebook.

Returning books

  • Can I return the books that I have borrowed?

No, please keep the borrowed books until the end of the emergency situation. All due dates will be prolonged up to 01 June, and fines will not be calculated. We will inform you about possible changes in the returning policy. If you still want to return the books, you can bring them to the book return box in the first floor lobby from Monday to Friday 12-18. Don't worry if the returned books are not immediately taken off from your library account, as they need to be in the quarantine.

  • Is the book return machine working?

No, the book return machine will not be working during the period when the library is closed.  

  • I have books with due date during the emergency period. Do I have to pay the fine?

No, the fine will be not calculated during the emergency period.

Borrowing books

  • Can I request and borrow the books I need?

Yes. If you have a valid library card or its equivalent, you can request books which can be borrowed and have the status AVAILABLE in the e-catalogue ESTER. Books can be picked up from the contact-free Smart Locker in lobby of the main building (Struve 1). The lockers can be accessed from Monday to Friday 12 – 18. As the number of lockers is limited, the waiting time for the pick-up of the requested books may extend up to three days.  

  • How quickly shall I get the books that I requested?

After having requested the book via ESTER, wait for an e-mail from the library with the message that the books are waiting for you in the Smart Locker. NB! Do not go to library before you have received this e-mail. Also note that the message may arrive within two or three days as the number of lockers is limited.

  • How long will my requested books be held in the Smart Locker?

The requested books will be held in the locker for 72 h starting from the date of the e-mail (Sat-Sun not included). Please pick up the requested books ASAP to free the locker for next requests. Come to the library only after having received the e-mail. The lockers can be accessed from Monday to Friday at 12-18.

  • How many books can be requested at a time?

Due to the limited size of the locker, you can request up to five (5) books at a time.

  • How can I get the book from the Smart Locker? Who will help me, if I have some problems?

Scan your library card or insert your ID-card to the locker. Then follow the instructions on the locker’s screen. 

If you need help, call 737 5702. This service if free from physical contact and we try to consult you via the phone.

  • Taking the coronavirus into consideration – is the use of Smart Lockers safe?

Borrowing via the Smart Lockers is contact-free. Staff members who use masks and protective gloves put the books into the locker. The lockers will be disinfected regularly. Please disinfect your hands before and after using the service, the disinfectants are just beside the Smart Locker. Please keep the distance with other readers.   

  • Can I request books also from the subject libraries?

You can request only the books from the collections of the main library (Struve 1) which can be borrowed and have the status AVAILABLE in the e-catalogue ESTER. Detailed information about the borrowing from the subject libraries can be reached on the library's webpage in the section Subject Libraries

  • Is it possible to use/borrow the materials that are marked as for in-library use?

No, during the emergency situation the materials that are usually taken only to the Rare Books Reading Room cannot be borrowed. Upon request, a digital copy may be ordered (form here: The service is for fee, pricelist avialable here:

  • If I fail to make a request, whom I can contact for help? 

Call 737 5702 or 737 5772 on Mon-Fri, 9-18 or send an e-mail to We will help you!


  • Can I use the research databases from home while the library is closed?

Yes, all members of the University of Tartu can use the databases. For this you have to set up a VPN-connection or enter via ezproxy (access with the UT user name). Please read more information:

  • If I don't know how to search an article or e-book in the databases, where can I get help?

First, see the guide materials:

If you still need some help, please contact the subject librarian or send an email to

Other questions

  • Can I request a book that has already been borrowed by someone else?

Yes, if the books that you need is not available at present, you can queue up. We will inform you by e-mail when the book has arrived. 

  • The validity period of my library card is going to end. What should I do?

Don’t worry, we will renew it. Call 737 5702 on Mon-Fri 9-18, or write to

  • I have an unpaid fine for not returning a book in time. Can I still request and borrow books?

Yes, if the fine does not exceed 2 euros. If it is larger, you can pay the sum by transferring it to the bank account no EE241010002019753006 (beneficiary:  University of Tartu, library, RT; explanation: FINE, name of the payer, number of the library card or identity code).

  • Does the library offer home or courier service?

No, until the re-opening of the library, we do not offer home service. No courier service is offered.

  • Didn’t find an answer to your question?

Write to,, or call 737 5702 or 737 5772 on Mon-Fri 9-18.

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