Up until 1960, the children’s bookstock of the Leskovac Library was integrated into the general library holdings.
The then director of the Library, Atanasije Mladenović, aware of the importance of this part of the bookstock and the need to work with the youngest users in a special way, singled out books for children and formed the Children’s Department.
Back then, many things changed in the work and functioning of the Children’s Department and the Library’s attitude towards its youngest readers. Librarians realized that the Library was growing along with children. During these major changes in the structure of librarianship, in 1968 the Library launched the action “Welcome, first-graders!”, which was the first in a series of what would become traditional children’s enrollments with the great aim of introducing our youngest users, children, into the world of books and reading.
During the decades of working with children at the Children’s Department, many generations of todayʼs scholars and educators emerged, people from all areas of creative work, who fondly remember us and our cultural and educational activities. Our most famous children’s writers passed through the Children’s Department, leaving an indelible mark on all of us: Desanka Maksimović, Ljubivoje Ršumović, Dobrica Erić, Mošo Odalović, Dragan Lukić, Milovan
Danojlić, Gradimir Stojković, Vlasta Cenić, Robert Takarič, Uroš Petrović and many other eminent creative minds who have left their mark both on the past and the time that lies ahead.
Today, the Children’s Department conducts a series of workshops attended by children of all ages from all elementary schools in the city. Through lively activities, creative work and storytelling with librarians and other participants, children learn and embrace books and reading as an integral part of their cultural identity. Workshops are frequently organized and provided every working day to all interested kindergartens and schools and they are completely free of charge. The workshops’ topics cover all interesting themes in connection with art, literature, ecology, history, geography, music and other branches of science.
Current workshops include drawing workshops, schools visiting the Library, environmental workshops, indergartens visiting the Library, a travelling library and a workshop on the importance of reading books.
Cooperation with students of the “11 th October” Special School has become traditional and is filled with interesting content, to our mutual satisfaction.
Within the Children’s Department, cooperation with the “Stanislav Binički” Music School has continued through organizing the “Music, word, color” programme in which children gift music to children in the Library reading room.
Today, as part of its regular activities, the Children’s Department traditionally enrolls first- graders from primary schools in the territory of the city of Leskovac, as well as children of preschool age, for free. The description of jobs and tasks at the Children’s Department includes: enrollment of members with all records, keeping of periodic statistics, selecting books showing
wear and damage in cooperation with the depot employee, mutual cataloguing of library materials, checking for unreturned library books and performing other professional tasks.
Librarians at the Children’s Department provide information and recommendations to fund users about new books and workshops being organized therein.
The idea behind the organization of all activities at the Children’s Department stems from one of the primary roles of each public library – to allow all children to get in touch with books and the Library, and influence the formation of reading habits in children and young people through creative work in familiarizing them with books and reading.
The Children’s Department is a refined space filled with beauty, attractiveness, excitement, driving energy and creative spirit, a place of creative socializing with books.
So, dear children, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, come to develop the magic of literary inspiration and love for the written word with us!