Books have chiselled the evolution of mankind in a great way and could pretty well be termed as man’s best friend. Understanding that, parents and teachers should encourage youngsters to frequent the library by making reading a habit, District Collector J. Uma Maheswari said here on Friday.

Addressing the valedictory of the 42nd National Library Week celebrations here, Dr. Uma Maheswari observed that history has taught us that books have engendered revolutions that have turned upside down the society’s deriding factors. Similarly, books have been a treasure house of knowledge and if that were the case, then libraries were more than just repositories of books, she pointed out, calling upon the parents and teachers to inculcate reading habit among young minds.

“Good books are friends for eternity. The power of words, enshrined in the form of books, is enormous. They have played a definitive role in shaping the evolution of mankind and continue to play a vital role in imparting knowledge,” she said.

At the same time, she counselled readers that they should try to practise what they read and only then the fullness of reading would be achieved. Practise what you read in good books that teach virtues, Dr. Uma Maheswari opined.

The Collector also called upon the public to cultivate the habit of donating books to children and others so that the beneficiaries could have the chance of reading a good book that comes as a gift.

Dr. Uma Maheswari gave away certificates and prizes to winners of various competitions held on the occasion of Library Week. She felicitated patrons, donors and philanthropists who have worked for the development of libraries in the district. She lauded the effort and gesture of the visually challenged lecturer Sellamuthu, who has authored a book “Periya Puranam Koorum Nannerigal” and donated 88 copies of his work to all libraries in the district.

District Library Officer S. Jagadeesan, District Central Librarian S.S. Sivakumar, Professor C. Raghavan of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, president of the Readers’ Circle, C. Balasubramanian, vice-president and philanthropist Deepam U. Shankar, and others, spoke. As a notable gesture, speakers hailed the efforts of the staff of the District Central Library on the occasion and presented shawls and mementos to all of them.