Just in time for Valentine’s Day, College Library has set-up a Valentine-Making Station on the first floor of the library. Stocked with construction paper, heart stickers, paper doilies, colored pens, pencils, and more, visitors are encouraged to construct the perfect valentine for their true love or to help decorate the library with a token of their esteem.
The idea for a companion book display was suggested by a former student assistant at College Library, Syaza Noor Azmi, in 2015. The display encourages library patrons to go on a “blind date” with a book. Since each book is wrapped in order to hide the author and title, readers have to trust the brief description provided and take a leap of faith when selecting a book. Inspired by similar displays at other libraries, Syaza thought one geared specifically toward undergrads would be a great way to get people to try out reading new genres. Installing it around Valentine’s Day would be perfect, because, as she said, “a blind date with a new book does seem romantic.” A selection of both fiction and non-fiction titles have been wrapped in brown craft paper to preserve their anonymity. Not until the book is actually checked out do “readers” get to see the title they selected.
The blurbs, written in the style of a personal ad, strive to capture the essence of the book without giving too much away. For example, one title is described as follows, “Have you ever found yourself in a non-stop, pulse-pounding thriller? If not, I’m glad we found each other. I’m an action-packed adventure that’ll keep you up all night. Join me, and I promise you won’t regret it.” Another possibility reveals, “I’m gloomy, heart-breaking, and will straddle the line between fantasy and reality. I’m sweet and wondrous, but not a fable for children. I’m the fairy tale that you’ll never want to end.” Blind Date with a Book is on display in Open Book, Room 1250 of College Library, for two weeks in February.