Rod Library is currently hosting Blind Date with a Book, an opportunity to not judge a book by its cover.
“Blind Date with a Book started several years ago and it has just gained popularity,” said Robin Darland, library assistant. “Students, faculty and staff all participate in it — a variety of readers across campus, so that is pretty fun.”
The promotion allows participants to check out handpicked books to read — all without knowing anything about the book in question, including its title.
Darland was asked to take on the project and accepted with the intention of making it bigger and better than ever. Her main goal in doing so was to make the space an interactive experience.
“If you can make it interactive, it’s just so much more meaningful and people get involved and learn more from it usually,” she said.
With the help of a few colleagues and student employees, Darland and her crew constructed a station where people are able to create Valentine’s Day cards for one another out of recycled materials.
In addition, the station features a “love wall” where people can write down what or who they love on paper hearts and display them with the goal in mind of spreading passion, love and kindness.
The crew worked together to wrap the books to conceal their covers. When choosing what books to include, she was mindful of diversity and viewed book lists on websites from other libraries who also hosted the event. The books are a mixture of fiction and nonfiction.
Darland decided that this year she also wanted to include movies to add more variety and attract a wider range of people.
“It’s kind of fun in this season to watch a movie,” Darland said.
All of the books and movies have cards attached to them that vaguely state what type of book or movie it is to give participants a hint of whether or not they might like their selection.
In addition to offering movies, Darland wanted to add a virtual dating component by adding free e-book downloads.
“Virtual dating is really big right now, so why not add a virtual dating aspect to it?” Darland said.
“I walked through yesterday and I was like, oh my gosh! It looks like I have to do that because I love reading,” said Emily Hale, sophomore history education major. “I just think it’s a fun idea because you never know what you’re going to get!”
Hale explained that it was hard for her to choose a book because she couldn’t see what the covers looked like.
“Maybe that’s a good thing,” she said. “Hopefully I like it, and I will probably do another one if I do.”
“I hadn’t originally planned to attend the event but found myself in the library surrounded by thoughtful arts and crafts,” said Claire Guderjahn, junior psychology major. “One book on the display really stuck out to me, and so I picked it up. On the back of the book there was a short description of the book’s ‘personality’ and ‘ideal dates.’ I decided to check it out!”
The Blind Date with a Book station is currently on display in Rod Library and will be open through the weekend of Feb. 23.