Univerzitet u Beogradu
Pravni fakultet – Biblioteka, Beograd
Biblioteka grada Beograda
No. 36 (May 2020), p. 2-12
Small Soirees or the Infancy of Storytelling: A Program for Children
of the Public Library in Belgrade between the Two World Wars
In 1928, based on the Law on Municipalities, the Court of the Municipality of the City of Belgrade made a decision on
the establishment of the City Library and the Museum of Belgrade. The first librarian, Marija Ilić Agapova, was hired
next year. Over the next year and a half until the opening ceremony of the library and the museum, initially alone and
later with a small circle of associates, she collected, arranged, systematized and processed material for the library
funds, and drafted the Work Programme and the Rulebook of the Library of the Municipality of the City of Belgrade
From the very beginning, together with working on the library fund for adults, Marija Ilić Agapova began to collect
and arrange material for the formation of the Department for Children and Young Adults, following the example of
English and world library practice. This department began its official work on January 11, 1931. Work on cultural and
educational activities in the Children’s Reading Room started immediately after organizing the lending/borrowing
procedures. On March 15, the first official children’s librarian was appointed – it was Nadežda Basurović.
This paper presents children’s soirees – small soirees, as a precursor of modern cultural programs for children,
which are now realized in numerous domestic and international libraries and are denoted by the term storytelling. In
addition, it presents the work of Nadežda Basurović, the first appointed children’s librarian in Serbia.
The paper was created on the basis of preserved reports written by children’s librarians, kept in the Old and Rare
Books and Books on Belgrade / Local History Department of the Belgrade City Library, as well as on the basis of
materials stored in the Historical Archives of Belgrade, articles published in serial and monographic publications, and
data from the annual reports of the Belgrade City Library.
Belgrade City Library, department for children, department for children and young adults, small soirees,
soirees, Marija Ilić Agapova (1895–1984), Nadežda Basurović (1907–?), storytelling
Submitted: 6th May 2020
Correction to the manuscript: 21st May 2020
Accepted for publication: 3rd June 2016
Small Soirees or the Infancy of Storytelling: A Program for Children of
the Public Library in Belgrade between the Two World Wars
Branka Dragosavac, Ljubica Ćorović
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.