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Ћирилица Latinica English

Dragana Sabovljev

Vladimir Arsenić

Gradska narodna biblioteka „Žarko Zrenjanin”, Zrenjanin

doi: 10.19090/cit.2017.31.3-12
No. 31 (November 2017), p. 3-12

Literary Field and Public Libraries in Serbia


This paper deals with the relationship between the field of literature in Bourdieu’s sense of the word and the activities of public libraries in Serbia, in historical perspective and contemporary moment. Studying the phenomenon of literary work (without entering into the problem of validation and/or division between high and low, i.e. trivial literature), and the development of the public libraries in Serbia, the authors try to show their close connection. It is being observed through the structure of public library collections and the relations between different factors in the literary field (writers, readers, publishers). The explanation of this deep connection could be found in the definition of a public library and its functions as well as in the structure of its users. It is shown that promotional activities, traditional events and publishing activity all have their basis in the field of literature.The educational structure of employees and management in the public libraries is examined, and it also testifies to this strong connection.
While examining the abovementioned aspects of the relation between literature and public libraries, the authors consulted selected references, web and social media pages of the public libraries, data from the Department for Research and Development of the Library System – Parent Department of the National Library of Serbia, as well as many colleagues from the public libraries and the field of literature. Dealing with the relationship between literature and the public libraries in Serbia, in historical perspective and today, the authors did not intent to show that the public libraries were one of the factors in the field of literature, understood in Bourdieu’s sense of the word, but this conclusion arose from their research. In this context, the task of the public libraries should be to take advantage of this status, not to deny it, because the opportunities it offers, especially in the aspects of presentation and popularization, can provide the visibility of other activities of the libraries to the widest range of their present and future users.


field of literature, public libraries, literary work, library collections, promotional activities, traditional events, publishing acitivity, users, library staff, Serbia

Submitted: 30th September 2017
Correction to the manuscript: 18th October 2017
Accepted for publication: 22nd October 2017.

Creative Commons License
Literary Field and Public Libraries in Serbia by Dragana Sabovljev i Vladimir Arsenić is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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