The Public Library of Koiola parish (founded in 1926) which was situated in
the community house was the actual forerunner of Põlva Central Library.
There were only 69 books in the library in 1926. There are about 75.000 books
in the library in 2003.
The first head of the library was a remarkable man whose name was Eduard Tamm
(1888-1984). He was a community clerk and a librarian at that time.
(E. Tamm was an actor and a producer of the Popular Education Society, too.
His real name was Eduard but he was more widely known as Jüri. He got
this name after a very successful role in the play called Rummu Jüri.
He worked in the library from 1926 to 1939, until an administrative reform
took place and Põlva parish was formed.
After the reform the library was moved into the society house (where it is
today) and was named
Central Library of Põlva parish. This house was built by the Popular
Education Society of Põlva on the ruins of a pub. The society library
was already founded in 1908. In 1936 there were 1200 books. Society library
was destroyed during the Second World War. E.Tamm worked in the parish
library again in 1941 and from 1944 to 1949. The parish library was destroyed
during the war too. It is said that the books and the equipment of the library
had been burned. Some catalogues and other documents were saved by Eduard
Tamm and these are held in Karilatsi Museum. The library was restocked after
the war. (There is only one book from the pre-war period in the library today,
it is a love - story Soldier Katrin by A. Thomas. This book was brought back
The library was named Põlva District Library after the district was
formed in 1950. The Children`s Library was founded in 1955.
There were two
libraries in the same house. At the end of the fifties and at the beginning
of the sixties the libraries moved out of the House of Culture (a new name
of society house). The new sites were at 22/27 Kesk Street. In the middle of
seventies two libraries were connected, a children`s department was formed
and the library was named Põlva Central Library. But there was not
enough space and the rooms were uncomfortable. Finally those houses were
returned to their real owners.
The rebuilding of the former society house started in November 1995. Its
outward appearance has been restored as it was 90 years ago.
The new library house opened on the 20 of December 1996. This is a modern
library with beautiful interior decorations. The readers can feel comfortable
in the library.
There are a conference hall and a music
department (so-called music balcony) in the library, too.
The computerization is proceeding on step by step. The library has a open
access Internet since 1999. The library uses special web-based library
Põlva Central Library is a county library. Besides this there are a
town library in Räpina and 33 rural libraries in the whole of Põlva