Consists of two separate locations, in different buildings:
Library Čika Jova Zmaj in Hilandarska Street no. 7, and
Library Neven in Dom Sindikata building on the 1st floor.
contact: Nada Arbutina
phone/fax: 011/32 38 631
The two libraries have 52,829 library units which are divided among the following holdings:
- Children’s fiction
- Required School Reading
- Folk Literature
- Classical Literature
- Literature in Foreign Languages
- Popular Science
- Referential Collection
- Old and Rare Books for Children
Apart from performing typical library operations, such as processing books, arranging books, processing catalogue, working with users, informative work and cooperating with cultural institutions, the employees of the Children’s department are mostly engaged in program work with children.
It has been observed that libraries, as well as the other culturally important matters, occupy far too little interest of today’s children. This is why the introduction of program working with children appeared to be the only model which could bring children back to libraries. Trying to harmonize the interests of children with the educational profiles and interests of the employees, the children’s department created concepts of programs and methodologies for the following programs:
- THE SCHOOL OF CREATIVE WRITING is a program intended for older elementary school pupils. Its goal is for children to think, read and write less by rote and adopt a creative attitude towards their creativity and imagination assisted through instruction. This program takes place once a week.
- ABOUT BOOKS AND SOME OTHER THINGS is a program designed in order to promote excellent, but insufficiently known children’s writers. This type of program presents literature through guest lectures by writers, and also includes performances, such as parts of theatre performances and theatrical performances featuring children. The program takes place once every two weeks.
- SOCIALISING WITH A WRITER is a program which presents children’s writers through their works, which means that the program is about the literary work of an author, the creative process, different stages of work which accompany creativity, etc... This program takes place once a month.
- KINDERGARTEN IN THE LIBRARY is a program intended for children for Belgrade kindergarteners, who visit the library in an organized manner, get information on certain literary works selected for the purpose of the program and who learn a part of the material through logic games, thus gradually entering the world of literature. This program takes place once a week.
- TALES OF MYTHS is a program intended for familiarizing pre-school and school age children with a basis of mythological understanding of the world, as well as some notions characteristic for this type of awareness. In later stages, children learn about popular myths and participate in quizzes where they are asked questions about everything they learned. This program takes place once a week.
- TALES FROM THE PAST is a program intended for older elementary school students which presents interesting facts form history, primarily based on the cultural history and private life of past epochs and famous historical figures. Guests – experts in certain areas of history - frequently participate in the program. This program takes place once a week.
- span style="color:#000;">WE AND OTHERS is a program intended for the integration of children with special needs into their peer groups. This program takes place once a week.
- TALES ABOUT ANIMALS is an educational-entertainment program intended for younger elementary school pupils. It provides basic information and points of interest on the animal kingdom and zoological stories. This program includes children’s discussions on pets, and popularizes books about animals. This program takes place twice a month.
- ЕNVIRONMENTAL WORKSHOPS comprise a program intended to create and develop environmental awareness among children. It familiarizes them with the basic principles of environmental protection and plans projects for environmental protection actions within local communities. This program is intended for children of pre-school and in their younger school years, and takes place twice a month.
- PREPARATION FOR SCHOOL is a program intended for pre-school children. It includes the familiarization of children with their motor skills, as well as with basic ideas which they will encounter and use during their elementary education. This program takes place from February till the end of June.
- THE LITTLE SCHOOL OF APPLIED SKILLS is a program where children learn how to make objects from grains, to make decorations from pressed leaves, to sculpt, to knit, to embroider using different models and how to do similar skills. This program is intended for pre-school children, as well as pupils attending lower grades of elementary school, and takes place once a week.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING is based on individual therapy sessions with children or their parents. The program’s goal is to provide psychological support in resolving the problems of growing up, such as issues in terms of learning, family issues, and support in resolving conflicts with peers and persons of the opposite sex. This program takes place once a week and lasts for three hours.
Since these programs have received a significant amount of media coverage, have had a large number of regular visitors, and individuals and cultural institutions have been both interested in participating as guests and in hosting some of the programs intended for children without any remuneration sought, new programs have been introduced. This is how the following programs have been structured and launched:
- EVERYTHING IS CULTURE is a program intended for elementary school children. Its goal is to familiarize children with various cultural institutions in Belgrade, activities these institutions perform, as well as materials offered to those interested (archives, museums, theatres). This program takes place once a month.
- WHEN I GROW UP I’LL BE... is the program intended for older elementary school children, which presents unusual professions (pyrotechnic technician, scenographer, masker, etc...) and offers assistance in thinking about and choosing one’s profession. The program takes place once a month.
- АND NOW FOR SOME MUSIC is a program intended for older elementary school children and secondary school children, comprising concerts of classical music performed by students in their final years of Belgrade music schools. The concerts take place once a month.
In due course, it had been established that children are also interested in subjects that the Library’s employees were not able to offer, but which, if launched, would greatly contribute to interest in materials which do currently exist, however insufficiently used. These items include such things as chess literature, various editions of comic books, and books that deal with mythological and religious subjects. For this reason and purpose, foremost experts in these areas who had already had experience in working with children have been employed, and the following courses have been established:
- SCHOOL OF COMICS is a program which teaches children how to understand the art of comics, the theory of comics, and, finally, how to become creators of comics. This program is intended for elementary school pupils, and takes place once a week.
- CHESS SCHOOL is a program intended for younger elementary school pupils, and its goal is to introduce them into the world of chess, teaching basic chess moves and developing their logic abilities. This program takes place once a week.
- LITTLE SCHOOL OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATON teaches children about the lives of saints and religious legends through interesting stories of religious life, in order to reveal religious ideas suitable for their age. This program takes place once a week.
The introduction of educational-entertainment activities in working with children has resulted in tripling the membership of the Children’s department, so much so that, presently, the libraries Cika Jova Zmaj and Neven have about 6,000 members. The fact that children are glad to come to our premises and that these visits are becoming an integral part of everyday life of Belgrade children speaks in favor of the department employees’ idea to abandon the traditional relationship between the librarian and the reader, which will, with the passage of time, call for increasingly profound changes.