Blind Date With a Book

For Valentine’s Day I wanted to start Blind Date With a Book at my library which we have never done before. I did it as a child and I always loved the idea, so I got the go-ahead from my higher-ups and created a plan.

My Plan

Since we have multiple locations, I made a spreadsheet with a different sheet for each location. In that spreadsheet, I put the title and author, barcode, call number, recommended age range (I did this pretty broad so that young children wouldn’t choose a hard chapter book for an older child), and key words or something intriguing about the book that I wanted to write on the cover. I had to choose books from our beginning reader collection, picture books, children’s nonfiction, children’s novels, and children’s graphic novels. I also had to be sure to choose books that were not so popular that people would be looking for them or trying to put them on hold, but also books that seemed fun because I wanted patrons to enjoy what they checked out. Making this spreadsheet took me WEEKS, but let me tell you that it was so worth it. Without this spreadsheet, I would have been flailing.


I put titles on hold from each location to be sent to my location so that I could wrap them and send them back. I didn’t consider quite how many books this would be and I ended up with about 250 books in my little office. I checked all of the books out and got to wrapping. With limited funds, we chose a brown kraft paper because you can buy them by the roll and they are much cheaper than fancy wrapping papers. I also liked that I could write on the front.

When I wrapped the books, I had to write whatever phrase I chose on front, the call number in the corner in case our circulation staff needed to find the book, the recommended age range, and I had to cut out the barcode. I ended up using a utility knife after making sure it wouldn’t damage the book and it worked fantastically! If that didn’t work, I was going to write the barcode on the front, but I didn’t want our staff to have to manually type in every barcode.

Once I got in the swing of things, it was taking me 3-4 minutes per book, so in total I spent somewhere around 15 hours wrapping books.

How it Went

This is the display that was put up at my library and I love how it turned out.

It went over super well and at our busiest locations, we only had a few leftover that weren’t checked out at the end of the week. We had a lot of requests to extend the time frame next year, so stay tuned.

I put a mixture of book collections and age ranges up so everyone had something to choose from and some parents chose for their kids if they came in alone. It was a lot of fun and we got great feedback from patrons and staff!

Next year, by popular demand, we are going to include some teen books!

Also, I would have loved to make some of the book decorations cuter with stickers or something, but I didn’t know how long it was going to take and I had no volunteer help with this one, so maybe next year. I still think it turned out great and I am really happy with it.

Have you done blind date with a book? What would you do differently?