Honouring the senior-most library member Nazeer Ahamad formed the highlight of the ‘Librarians Day' celebrated under the auspices of the Department of Public Libraries here recently.

A septuagenarian, Mr. Ahamad, became the member of the Central Library way back in 1956 when he was 17 years old. “From the library records, we understand that he has been visiting the Central Library without any break and has been an ardent lover of books. Book reading is dear to him,” said A. P. Sivakumar, District Library Officer, explaining Mr. Ahamad's passion for reading.

T. Soundiah, District Collector, honoured Mr. Ahamad and spoke on the role of books in shaping the character of an individual and the destiny of a nation.

The Collector said librarians played a key role in motivating the youths, especially students, to take the maximum advantage of books in a library.

The Department of Public Libraries has chalked out a special programme to extend the benefits of the library movement to visually-challenged persons. The Collector issued membership cards to a group of such persons.

A student of Amala Girls Higher Secondary School, Musiri, Meenakshi, who brought laurels to the district by winning the second prize in a state-level elocution contest on ‘library movement' was also .

The function also marked felicitation to individuals and institutions who had been contributing their mite for the growth and development of library movement. Former Principal of St. Joseph's College, G. Balakrishnan, was felicitated .

Two banks -- Punjab National Bank and Indian Overseas Bank had donated certain infrastructure to the District Central Library. The managers of these banks were honoured .

Mr. Sivakumar said contests on quiz, mono acting and individual skills were also held in which a large number of students and youth participated.

Selvaraj, an employee of the District Library, who had donated blood for 26 times, was also felicitated .

The Director of Sevai, Govindarajan and V. Sujatha, Principal of Cauvery College for Women, spoke on the efforts made by the libraries in assisting the aspirants for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) tests. Ms. Sujatha specifically referred to the special wing, with books and reference materials for UPSC and other competitive tests, started years ago at the District Central Library.

Librarians who have enrolled a large number of members or patrons during 2009-10 were honoured in recognition of their services. S. Dhanalakshmy, Librarian of Manachanallur got the prize for enrolling the largest number of 2,808 members among the Taluk Libraries. Among the Branch Libraries, the prize went to Mohan of Mettupalayam, who had enrolled 872 members. In the Rural Libraries, Shakila Begam got the prize for enrolling 391 members with the library at Ayyappa Nagar.

Three librarians -- Balasundaram in Thuraiyur; Shakila Begam in Ayyappa Nagar and Vasantha of Thendral Nagar were honoured for having enrolled a number of patrons during the year.