Patrons go on a blind date with a book in February

Item photo by Shea Singley Schuylkill Valley Community Library's Blind Date with a Book program.
Item photo by Shea Singley Schuylkill Valley Community Library's Blind Date with a Book program.

Throughout the month of February, Schuylkill Valley Community Library in Leesport played matchmaker with its patrons and its books. Back for a second year was the “Blind Date with a Book” program that was fitting with both Valentine’s Day and Love Your Library Month.

“I saw it on the internet and thought why not give it a try,” said Christie Himmelreich, Schuylkill Valley Community Library Director.

Books that the librarians thought would be of interest were wrapped in black paper as to not see the cover and had a short categorization of the book on the front, such as “For Lovers of Far-away Places.” Patrons would pick a book and take a chance on trying something without judging the cover or sticking to what they may usually tend to read.

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The flyer read, “Celebrate Valentine’s Day by choosing a wrapped book to borrow. You won’t know what it is until you get home! If you enjoy the book, bring it back with a review and we’ll share it with other patrons. If you don’t enjoy the book, bring it back with no awkward questions asked (unlike on some actual blind dates).”

Himmelreich explained that the books picked for the program were not necessarily the new books as those often catch the attention of the patrons. Rather they were some of the older books that may have been passed over or not seen, but those at the library believed the patrons would enjoy.

“We did this last year and it was a lot of fun,” said Himmelreich. “It’s something fun for adults.”

As other community libraries, SVCL has many programs for the community and many of those are geared toward the younger residents. This program, running all through February, was a chance to have something different and fun for adults to take part in and enjoy the library the way that many children do during story time and other activities.

In the past and so far, the library has received positive feedback from those participating. They do not have an actual count of how many of the blind date books were checked out this year as the only visible part of the book is the barcode so that they can be easily scanned and the books were not marked down to keep a close count of.

For those willing to take a chance, head over to the Schuylkill Valley Community Library and take a chance on a blind date with a book. For more information on SVCL, visit http://www.berks.lib.pa.us/ssv/.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.