Teen Library Display for Valentine’s Day: Blind Date with a Book


Updated 1/31/14: I’ve had requests for the “want ads” I wrote for the books. Here’s a set of 16 that I plan on starting with as well as the sign I plan on using this year: blind date display 2014 blurbs

I have a template in a publisher document I can email anyone who is interested. Leave a comment or a note through the contact form.

This isn’t an original idea. Because I follow a bunch of libraries and librarians on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve seen quite a few of these types of displays. That’s what I love about social media; people can quickly share ideas.

I First saw a similar display on Pinterest last year. I’ve seen a couple more since, but I wanted to make ours a little more eye-catching and I happened to have plain red wrapping paper that was too long to fit in my wrapping paper storage bin and had just been leaning against one of my bookshelves since I’d wrapped holiday gifts. Plus, I figure if you’re going on a blind date, you want to jazz it up a bit, and the red seemed fun and Valentine-y. I thought this “blindfold” take on the idea in this display was also cute, if you wanted something different. There are lots of alternative spins for the “blind date with a book” theme. I saw one library that was using mysteries only, and another said they were doing it with adult nonfiction books.wrapping

The sign says: No Valentine? No problem! Make a date with one of these books! Don’t see anything that catches your eye? We’ll play matchmaker and find the right book for you.”

It doesn’t even have to be a February display, it would work for any time of year. I liked the idea of only giving a hint of what the book was (that’s the fun, right? the surprise!), but wanted to be more specific than genre. I wrote blurbs as personal ads, “this book seeks this kind of reader” style.

book displayAnna and the French Kiss became “charming romance seeks reader for a rendezvous in Paris.” If you’ve already read that or are really familiar with YA lit, you might guess which title the wrapping paper contained, but if you were in the mood for a romance, you might take a chance on the unknown. My favorite blurb was “quirky, award winning road trip book seeks reader who will appreciate its dark sense of humor (must not be afraid of yard gnomes)”—can you guess the title?

I included a variety of books on the display—humor, mystery, sports, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, etc. Some were popular books and others were personal favorites or lesser known titles. I made sure that the area around the barcode was cut out so they could be checked out without unwrapping and wouldn’t annoy the people at the circulation desk too much. Using a high quality wrapping paper was easier than thicker paper or too thin, easily tearable wrapping paper. You could use the comic section of the sunday paper and do a graphic novel display. I liked typing and printing out the blurbs rather than hand writing them, because I didn’t want to worry about misspellings or not fitting all the text on the book.

I found some other displays for February that I loved, like this one from The Magpie Librarian that features LGBTQ titles.

Have you made or seen another cool library/bookstore display? Tell us about it in the comments! 


37 thoughts on “Teen Library Display for Valentine’s Day: Blind Date with a Book

  1. Hi Molly! Could you please send me your Blind Date with a Book template? I am a high school librarian working on my February display and would love to get more ideas. Thanks!

  2. Help! I’m running out of time and like every other librarian have tons to do. Why reinvent the wheel? I love your “pick up lines” and would love to get the template. Care to share? I’ll give you the credit.

  3. Are you still sharing your template? If so, would you mind sending them to me? I’m a high school librarian and I usually do book speed dating for valentine’s day but I wanted to switch it up this year. Thanks so much!

  4. I am a new HS media coordinator and I LOVE your blind date post and would love a copy of your blind date blurbs if you don’t mind sharing!

  5. Thank you so much!. Wrapping books and creating the sign was no problem. But I am HORRIBLE at coming up with cute phrases to make the books attractive and give a bit of a hint at the type of book. I LOVE having the templates for the specific books. I know they will fly off the shelf!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing! Found your idea on Pinterest and happily discovered your blog. I’d love to have the template when you have a spare moment.

  7. Please email me the template for “Blind Date With A Book”….GREAT idea, I will be using it in the HS Media!
    Thank you!

  8. Hi Molly–I’m working on a book for ALA Editions, working title Handbook for Story Readers, and in my chapter on Raising Readers, I’d love to quote your post on Speed Dating and use your images in my PowerPoint for a book talking workshop I’m giving in NY State in May. Would this be OK? Also, I’d love to see your template. What I most enjoyed was seeing how you took a good idea and added a few twists to make it even better. Thanks–Judy Freeman, Children’s Literature Consultant, http://www.JudyReadsBooks.com

  9. I’ve been seeing so many of these Blind Date with Books pop up in various posts around the blogosphere–it’s such a cute idea! I toyed with the idea of doing a giveaway based around this, actually, but I think it’s just going to have to wait for another time. Thanks for the cute roundup. :)

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