The National Library ”Jovan Popovic“ continues the work and tradition of the Serbian Reading Room. The first reading room in Great Kikinda was founded on May 1st, 1845 and it was named the Serbian Reading Room. The national enthusiasts who were among the founders of the Serbian Reading Room were students of the Pressburg University. Some of the names are well known: Pavle and Mihail Trifunac, Arkadije Varadjanin, Sergije Birimac, Atanasije Udicki, Lazar Kiric, Georgije Stanković and others.The reading room was housed in the apartment of Lazar Kiric, near the Church of St. Nichola. Today that is the building of the National Theatre. The mission of the reading room was catergorized as a mission of enlightenment. The main task was to gather people and to offer them books, magazines and newspapers to read all toward their better education.

At first the Serbian Reading Room consisted of 250 books, six coins in the numismatic collection and subscription to seven newspapers. But over the years the fund kept on increasing.

Members of the Serbian Reading Room immediately started publishing a hand written newspaper which was named “The Kikinda Bell“. But there is some data to suggest that the newspaper was called “The Great Kikinda Newspaper“. First issue of this newspaper was published on May 6th, 1845. Unfortunately no copies were preserved and there is no more information on it.

In the period leading up to World War I, the Serbian Reading Room changed its location frequently.