Public Library Cacak Logo

Library History

From the 19th century to the First World War

Originally, the idea of founding the public library in the town of Čačak emerged in the year of 1848, when on January 12 th/24th some respectable figures of a small town with thousand inhabitants, founded the Association for Reading Serbian-Slavonic Newspapers in Čačak. The members of the society were mainly civil servants. The association subscribed to a dozen newspapers that were available only in Belgrade. Because of the unfavorable cultural and educational, but also financial circumstances, this first reading society for newspapers didn’t manage to last very long.

On May 15th/27th of 1860, the reading society Čitalište was founded in Čačak, accompanied by ringing of the church bells and shooting of fireworks. The association soon had 80 members, but as – according to a note from the time – “the reading society of Čačak had almost no income and found itself without means”, and it was closed due to “certain reasons” in 1867. However, among the people of Čačak, love for the written word and wish for not lagging behind the others prevailed, so the new reading society Čitaonica was founded on January 5th/17th in 1869. In 1874, it had 68 members and more than 30 newspapers and magazines as well as several dozens of books at its disposal. In 1881, there were only 45 members, 15 magazines and 30 books left because of the wars against Turkey 1876 – 1878.

Further destiny of the new reading society is unknown, as well as fate of other attempts of educated people on the territory of the Western Morava to establish permanent institutions for promotion of reading culture until the First World War. A quotation from 1899 claims that the “Čitaonica once blossomed and now it hardly vegetates”. In the beginning of the 20th century, the new reading society activities ceased. It was only an “agreement” of the prefecture of the district of Čačak in 1909 that contributed to the opening of the public library, “because in Čačak and the surrounding area, we perceive the necessity and the wish of such a foundation…”

Between two World Wars

In 1921, the reading society continued working under the name of Civil Reading Room of Čačak, after the book fund had been destroyed during the First World War. On February 13th 1921, the newspaper Pravda from Belgrade published a request of the reading section of Čačak to the editorial departments of newspapers, journals and magazines in order to send issues to them.

This institution didn’t survive, its activities ceased in 1928. However, on May 15th 1934 the library and reading room of the university of Čačak, with the library of “the teachers’ house” and the library of the association Prosveta from Sarajevo joined in and formed the United Library and reading room, which at the moment of its foundation disposed of 700 books. This reading society kept on working until May 7th of 1937, when the authorities suspended it, because they considered it a communist organization.

Foundation of today’s library

The end of the Second World War and the appeasement of the country’s situation facilitated the foundation of the City Library and reading room in February 1946. The books for the reading room were collected by the citizens during the so-called Week of the Book Collection and represented the initial book fund of the library. With a resolution of the National Committee of the Municipality of Čačak on April 5th 1961, the institution was named City Library. After the Second World War, the City Library resided in Lukovića Dućanima Street, where the bookstore Branislav Nušić can be found today. In 1950, the City Library occupied three rooms on the first floor of today’s cinema Sutjeska. In 1965, the City Library settled in the premises of the former hotel Kašina, and after the House of Culture had been completed in 1974, the library was given 400 square meters in this cultural center, where it still can be found today. The old and well-known House of Virer, also referred to as the House of Hadžić in Gospodar Jovanova Street, was put at the disposal of the City Library in 1986.

In 1994, the library became the central institution for the territory of the township of Čačak, Gornji Milanovac, Lučani and Ivanjica. In September 1998, the administration committee of the City Library accepted the proposal to name the institution “City Library of Čačak – Vladislav Petković Dis”.