Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Display - Blind Date with a Book


Our teen summer reading theme this year is Realm of the Unknown. While trying to come up with a display idea, I stumbled on a post written by the Calcasieu Parish Public Library in Lake Charles, LA (their blog is now defunct). They tried out a Blind Date with a Book display, and had quite a bit of success with it. My interest piqued, I looked for other libraries who did the same thing.

I picked out teen books that I knew were good, but for some reason or another had been collecting dust. Each book's bar code was scanned and another was made. I then wrapped each book in brown paper, placed the bar code and instruction label on it. Some libraries chose to keep the genre a secret, but I wrote it on the label to ensure a better match-up.

The labels say: Check out this book, take it home, and unwrap it. Show it your favorite spots to read, share your favorite snacks, or show it off to your friends. Who knows, maybe there’s a future for the two of you? This book seeks (genre) lovers.

Within an hour of the display going up, more than half of the books were checked out. I hadn't anticipated such an occurrence, so I happily scrambled around for more books to wrap up and display. I now have a stack ready to go, just in case.

I had toyed with making a pocket to leave the comment card in for each book, but that would have required making a cover that would stay on, notifying other branches of the program, and trying to find a way to get the book back without the card falling out. Those options would work for a single-building system or if multiple branches did the same program.

If all continues to go well, I might just do it again for Valentine's Day next year!

Here are the PDFs of my files:
Sign
Labels
Rate Your Date Card

Check out these other librarians who have tried this display:

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking to my post! I looked at my stats this morning and noticed a jump (very slight for my blog).

    I hope you do a follow up post at the end of the summer, I can't wait to hear how your program went.

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  2. Thank you for your awesome idea! The books are flying off of the display, and one teen even thanked me for having it!

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  3. I got the idea from a librarian post myself. I thought it was great, I like the idea you used about putting the "wanted" add type thing on the wrapping, I'm going to try that the next time I put the display up.

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  4. What a fabulous idea and a great way to discover new books! There's nothing like excitement of unwrapping a package and seeing what's inside.

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  6. If you want to run with the comment card idea, try setting up a website and advertise it at the display. Invite people to hit the web and chat about the books they "blind dated." They can link to other books and grow a network of shared dates.

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  7. That is so cool! I could see that translating that over to choosing books for reading circles in a classroom. I wonder if that would work with adults.

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  8. Thinkgeek posted about this. I would buy books like this if there was a way!I love the idea!

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  9. I came here because of the ThinkGeek Facebook post. This is an amazing idea! I love this so much, I might try this with my two sons... Or even myself! I have enough books around the same size that if I asked one person to help wrap and randomize the books, I could play this game myself (especially when I cannot decide which new book to start reading).

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  10. I had no idea that they linked to this post until you guys told me! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. You could even generate a QR code that points to your book comments website, which they can scan with their smart phones, since everyone's got one these days. That would make it even easier and more convenient to get to the site, making it more likely that they would actually go there and interact on it.

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  12. I just posted about the QR code. Just wanted to mention that I too came here from the ThinkGeek post on Facebook.

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  13. This is brilliant! I wish my public library would do this for adults. :)

    I sent your link to my husband, who is media specialist. He's in an elementary school, but he has some friends at high school libraries.

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  14. I just did something similar with our book club. We wrapped-up books about love in red tissue paper stuck a tagline about book, i.e. They other woman, it's not who you think. Everyone chose their book based on the tag. Everyone seems excited and we had two new people join once they heard about this month's twist. We will meet Valentine week and everyone will talk about their individual book! I love this idea and I think we'll do blind date with a book display in the library just before March break!

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  15. This is such a neat idea, I can't wait to read more of your blog. (I also stumbled upon you from Facebook.)

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  16. So glad that Thinkgeek linked to this. I'm a new employee at a small library and our director just okayed for me to get started on it!

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  17. One of my students found your blog, so we are trying the Blind Date idea out for Valentine's Day! Thank you so much for sharing. I think the kids will love it.

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  18. Love this idea! I am going to try this for Valentine's Day I think! I would love to follow your blog, but the only way I see is RSS or email, and I prefer not to overwhelm my email, and I don't do RSS. Only Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin. I'll have to just bookmark your page!

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