BOOKED FOR VALENTINES DAY- The Lincoln Public Library is offering a Blind Date with a Book for its patrons this February. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Public Library
By Carla Charter
LINCOLN, N.H.- Don’t have a date this Valentine’s Day? The library may be able to book one for you. The Lincoln Public Library is playing cupid this year by offering patrons a Blind Date with a Book. According to Carol Riley, Library, Director of Lincoln Public Library, she came upon the idea while scrolling through Pinterest one night. “I thought it was such a lovely, charming, innovative idea and it was serendipitous that I found it in time for the month of February! “
“We are always looking to add something fresh and to spark spontaneity and adventure in our patrons. In my 20+ years of experience, I’ve learned that readers are remarkably habitual. This particular project forces them to shake things up a little. Even if they don’t enjoy the book, it brings readers outside of their own heads, encouraging them to try something new and to have a little fun!” Riley said.
The blind date books, all wrapped in brown paper each in some way are tied into the theme of love. “They are all in the realm of “love,” but we had to branch out into as many genres and sub-genres as possible. This certainly forced us to get creative! Our fiction and non-fiction candidates go from warm-your-heart romances and out-of-this-world sci-fi to laugh-out-loud biographies, learn-to-love-yourself self-help, and whodunit? mysteries. “
The books are marked fiction or non-fiction, other than that patrons know nothing about the books they are checking out. “If you know readers as I do, then you know that it’s the rare breed who enjoys fiction and non-fiction alike, so we chose only to distinguish between those two. Other than that, it’s a complete mystery!” She continued that “ Next year, though, I think we’ll come up with really fun clues for the cover so that our patrons can have even more fun when selecting their blind date!”
The project, Riley said, is popular with patrons. “A few of our patrons have already decided to brave the dating world and join in the fun! One of the things I love most about our library’s patrons is their genuine love not only of reading but of our community library. They are active and supportive and always encouraging us to try something new. Our reading programs garner a substantial number of participants and, you may be surprised to hear it, but competition!
After they read the book, patrons can decide whether they formed a bond with the book or whether they needed to break off the relationship. “The library will be keeping track of the patrons who choose to participate and follow up with them for their reaction to the book.”
The library is also planning a second Blind Date with a Book shelf geared toward their young adult readers. “We’re actually selecting the books this week and hope to have the display up by Friday, February 8th!”