Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker is known as the Father of the Library Movement in the Indian state of Kerala. Panicker led the formation of Thiruvithaamkoor Granthasala Sangham (Travancore Library Association) in 1945 with 47 rural libraries. The slogan of the organization was ‘Read and Grow’. Later on, with the formation of Kerala State in 1956, it became Kerala Granthasala Sangham (KGS). He traveled to the villages of Kerala proclaiming the value of reading. He succeeded in bringing some 6,000 libraries into this network. Grandhasala Sangham won the prestigious ‘Krupsakaya Award’ from UNESCO in 1975.
The Government of Kerala acknowledged his contributions and ordered that 19 June be observed, annually, as Vaayanadinam (Day of Reading) with a week-long series of activities at schools and public institutions to honor his contributions to the cause of literacy, education and library movement.