Speed dating library event

The events see single book-lovers gathering at libraries with a meaningful book tucked under their arm, hoping to find love amongst bookshelves.

Virginia Libraries

Smith library who helped organize the event. On a rainy Friday evening 64 singles packed into a library basement near College St. They were split into two age groups — ages 20 to 34 and ages 35 and up. They sipped mocktails, chatted nervously and kept hands protectively on the books between them.

Library Type

As the night picked up, daters leaned in to hear one another in the echo-y basement. Only one couple looked thoroughly unhappy as they sat in silence, eyes darting everywhere except straight ahead. Each had four minutes to talk to their partner before a buzzer sent them on their way. No Logo by Naomi Klein: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Or maybe a gold digger.

Book Dating for Booklovers at Arlington County Public Library

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: Why she chose it: Why he chose it: The book is about people who try to bring joy to the streets of New York. This event was part of our ongoing program series aimed towards the 20s and 30s crowd. I decided to run this program as part of our It's On series for new adults because I regularly hear from and somethings in the area that they have trouble meeting new friends after they leave university.

The goal was to provide a low-stress, fun environment for them to meet new friends, and to draw new patrons in their 20s and 30s to the library. In heterosexual romantic speed dating, the men sit on one side of the table and never move, while the women shift over one seat each time or vice versa.

Speed dating goes literary

But in that scenario, each person only matches with half of the attendees. I needed everyone to match with each other, regardless of gender! I solved this problem by having one person sit in the same seat for the entire process, while everyone else shifted one seat over. Place a gold star marker at one seat and arrows in front of every other seat to show participants where to move.

I prepared for an odd number of attendees by creating one trio match station.

I identified the trio spots by placing little stars at three seats. Everyone still moved over one seat each round like usual, but occasionally found themselves in a trio.


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I designed a square image with the title of the program using the free graphic design website Canva. We shared that image and a link to the program calendar on the library's social media Facebook, Twitter, blog. However, the majority of the attendees said they found out about our program from our post on Meetup.

Friend Speed Dating | Programming Librarian

You could cut costs by removing coffee or by using existing children's programming supplies for the card-making station. For the card-making station, I purchased everything from a dollar store: The program started at 2 p.


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  • For the first 20 minutes, attendees trickled in, hung up their coats and filled out nametags. The room was full of nervous energy as people chatted and shook hands.

    I WENT TO A SPEED DATING EVENT

    I explained how the "matching" portion would work: I asked if anyone had any questions, and then matching mania ensued! The matching lasted from 2: After the matching portion ended, we provided some casual hangout time. I set up a card-making station with the dollar store supplies cardstock, glue, glitter, etc along with a couple Valentine's Day Card Inspiration Sheets and one Anti-Valentine's sheet and a slideshow of funny Valentine's cards.