Blind Date with a Book at the NDSL

BDfacebookThis is a guest post by Kristin Byram and Shari Mosser  who organized the NDSL Blind Date with a  Book program.

We’ve always wanted to do the Blind Date with a book program since it started to become popular with libraries. This year we found a way to create it with items we had on hand! We had staff submit books that they thought others would enjoy from our collection, which ended up being around 200 books. A few of our staff wrapped them up in brown paper and then decorated with hints, clues, and other eye catching decorations. We also reprinted the barcode on a label so we could easily check them out to the patrons. Included inside was a “Rate the Date” card so we could get some feedback on the books and hopefully the program. These cards will be entered into a raffle for some cozy reading goodies. Our prize was a basket of small staff donated items: chocolates, decorated mugs, hot chocolate, etc.

Some interesting take-aways we found from the program were:

  • Walking the books 500 yards from our location to the Capitol tower made a significant difference in participation!  People loved that we brought the books to them.
  • Having some hints/decorations on the front of the books really helped to get the attention of people walking by!  We also feel we got their attention by have short descriptions and that they spent more time looking over the books because of this.
  • Some people can’t resist a wrapped treasure and couldn’t wait to open the books up!

This program doesn’t just have to happen over February.  Libraries could use it over Halloween for “trick or treat” and around Easter your patrons could find the hidden “eggs.” You could also do a hidden treasure theme for kids or teens, or “try your luck” over St. Patrick’s day.

Have you tried a Blind Date with a Book program at your library? Tell us about it in the comments!


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