Knez Mihailova 56
11 000 Belgrade
contact: Olga Srecković Franić
The Belgrade City Library Department for purchases is in charge of the purchase of books and other library materials for all holdings of the Library. The inventory of library materials is also performed within this department, as well as holdings analysis and coordinated purchases for the Associated Libraries of Belgrade.
The tasks of the Department include the procurement of valuable titles, both domestic and translated, for the needs of the holdings of the general library and its users, to enrich the library’s holdings with valuable monographs printed in the leading languages of the world, to maintain up-to-date books for children and their quality, complete library holdings regarding Belgrade, Belgrade publications, old and rare books, as well as all other specialized holdings, such as the reference collection, library sciences, arts, film, theatre, music, etc, as well as periodicals and other special holdings of library materials other than books (manuscripts, microfilm, picture postcards, albums, photos, musical holdings, posters, maps, prints, etc...).
On the basis of very thorough group reports on purchases, and the manners of using the holdings, the Department analyzes the state of the library’s holdings and the manner of their utilization. As a developed city library, the Belgrade City Library simultaneously develops its scholarly and popular character. In accordance with this, the Department is not only in charge of purchasing and keeping the most valuable titles, but purchasing a sufficient number of copies of the most demanded books as well. Interests of the readers and the actual value of the purchased monograph publications are constantly being updated.
HOW BOOKS ARE PURCHASED
The main manner in which the Belgrade City Library purchases books is via public tender that is published twice a year (in April and October) by the City Secretary for Culture. The commission appointed by this institution (comprising librarians and prominent cultural workers) reviews sample copies and selects the ones which meet all necessary standards (both artistic and technical) for the library’s holdings. After the selection, the Marketing Department sorts those books that have been newly acquired, stamps them and then distributes them to all the city libraries.
The Library allocates 20% of the total amount of funds intended for books from its own income for the purpose of emergency intervention and, in order to cover omissions in purchase, always bears the requests of municipal libraries in mind.
Apart from purchasing, there are other ways of obtaining books and other library materials; such as legal deposit privileges, gifts, and bartering. The Belgrade City Library receives a statutory copy from Serbian National Library, which generally meets its needs in terms of titles. The effects of the library services are also quite important: the books the Department obtains via marketing, as well as publications handed over by publishers upon promotions of their editions are very important in promoting new acquisitions, especially in terms of increasing the number of copies of current titles. Certainly, publications are also exchanged with publishing companies, other institutions and libraries. The Serbian Ministry of culture purchases a large number of books for Belgrade libraries.
The Department, (i.e. the Belgrade City Library) receives its most valuable gifts from readers, authors, publishers, institutions, especially from the citizens of Belgrade, as well as other towns and foreign countries. In recent years, the library’s holdings of foreign books have been significantly enriched with gifts from American libraries, the French Cultural Centre, the Goethe Institute and other such places.
PURCHASES FROM PRIVATE PERSONS
In respect to the fact that a large number of citizens are interested in selling their books to the Library, it is necessary to mention that the Belgrade City Library does not have enough funds reserved for the purchase of books from private persons. The Library can purchase only the most valuable old and rare books, important monographs, and, possibly, well-preserved collections.