Public Library Uzice (PLU) is the oldest cultural institution in Zlatibor District and one of the oldest libraries in Serbia. PLU’s history began in 1856 when Uzice Book Club was founded by the initiative of progressive citizens and youth.
The first president of the Club was Stojan Obradovic, a judge and a comprehensive cultural ambassador. In 1957, the Book Club had 100 members, 200 books and majority of newspapers printed in the Principality of Serbia. Due to turbulent times and political turmoil, the Institution had been shut down and reopened several times. In 1881 the holdings was consisted of 485 books in our and other languages.
In the beginning of 20th century, workers libraries and reading rooms had important role in cultural and political life. (Labour) Library of Užice was founded in 1903. It’s main task was political agitation, but there were cultural events, as well. Special attention was aimed towards worker’s literacy. Due to frequent accusations aimed at the management, whose members were often called traitors, soon the reading room stopped working.
In 1910 Public Library with a reading room was established by the initiative from the Cultural League, but its fund was destroyed in World War I.
In the times between the wars, the Library worked with interruptions. In 1929, due to absolutistic regime of King Alexander, cultural enlightenment was neglected. Nevertheless, a group of students from Uzice dared to establish Public University, and soon after Public Library and Reading Room. Many students gathered there. At first its address was in Kandica kafana (Kandic’s Pub) and afterwards in the premises of the French club at Zitni trg (town’s square) in Prljevic’s house.
In the midst of 1937, the Library stopped working. By the beginning of World War II, the Library was placed in a classroom of the local Gymnasium.
In 1941, during the Republic of Uzice (until it’s fall), the books were placed in Sokolski dom. On November 7th 1941, the Partisans closed recently opened Library for annual celebration Communist Revolution Day.
Work continuity was established after the war. The initial library holdings were consisted of books donated by townsfolk. In 1946 the institution was reopened and later, in 1950, name was changed to Town’s Library, in 1961 to Public Library Uzice. From 1979 to 1989 it was named Public Library “Edvard Kardelj”. In 1989, returned to its old name Public Library Uzice.
Public Library Uzice is a central library for all special and school libraries in Zlatibor District. Library’s holding is consisted of around 200,000 books, more than 500 titles of periodics, around 300 audio books, rich collection of other resources, and old&rare books. In addition to digital catalogue COBISS.RS, users can access digital databases: Media Archives – Ebart, Cobson (digital service providing access to foreign and domestic sources of scientific information – professional journals, books, full text databases), SCIndex (service providing access to domestic professional periodics). The initial work on computerization of holdings and digital catalogue processing for the books began in 1995. Back then, the first software system was in place, which led to forming more advanced database named Biblio.
By obtaining necessary computer equipment and internet connection, Public Library Uzice was among the first public libraries to join Mutual cataloguing system. Library Members data were entered into database in 2013, and borrowing records is fully automated.
Public Library is also covering its library branches of Sevojno and Ribasevina. PLU’s holding has five legates.