Joydeb Roy being felicitated at the Krishnagar Public Library. Picture by Pranab Debnath
Krishnagar, April 25: For 25 years, Joydeb Roy has helped the Krishnagar Public Library function without any fee. On World Book Day, the library's 1,200-odd members gathered to honour the "selfless service".
Joydeb Roy, a retired employee of the civic body and book-lover, has been helping the short-staffed library by arranging books, managing data and so on. The 161-year-old library has 35,000 books and 500 valuable manuscripts and its reading room once hosted poets like Kazi Nazrul Islam and Dwijendralal Roy.
The 68-year-old retired government employee was felicitated with a bouquet of flower, books and sweets.
"I just do this for the love of books, the library and its members. The names of so many luminaries are associated with this library. I try my best to help the people here and will be happy to do this till I die," he said.
For Joydeb Roy, it all started 25 years ago when the library staff were finding it difficult to arrange the books. Since then, he has been not only assisting the librarian in lending out books but also keeping them in respective racks.
A member of the library for the past 53 years, Joydeb Roy was an employee of the assessment department of Krishnagar municipality.
"I am a witness to Joydeb babu's selfless service for the past 25 years. He is like a living catalogue. His exemplary contribution and selfless service are rarely seen now," said Swadesh Roy, executive committee member of the library.
"Earlier, he used to rush to the library after his office gave over at 5pm. He returned home only after 8pm when the library closed. Since retiring in 2008, he comes in at 1pm like any regular staff and stays till the end," Swadesh Roy added.
"Krishnagar Public Library is a good library in terms of books, but it lacks staff," said an official of the district library services department.
A former librarian, Sanjit Dutta, said: "During 1991-92, the daily lending service had suffered largely because of staff shortage. It became very difficult to meet over 1,000 members who regularly visited the library for different purposes. It was then that Joydeb babu and his friend Mihir Das had came forward to help our staff. Mihir babu passed away a few years ago."
"Joydeb Babu has become an integral part of the library. We never assign him any administrative task. He only helps in lending of books now," a staff of the library said.