eISSN 2217-5563 ISSN (Print) 2217-5555

Ћирилица Latinica English

Branka Dragosavac
Univerzitet u Beogradu
Pravni fakultet – Biblioteka, Beograd

Ljubica Ćorović
Biblioteka grada Beograda

doi: 10.19090/cit.2020.36.2-12
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 (1930).
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

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Small Soirees or the Infancy of Storytelling: A Program for Children of the Public Library in Belgrade between the Two World Wars by Branka Dragosavac, Ljubica Ćorović is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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