By Louis Frey
Asst. Features Editor
On March 21, Sacred Heart University’s Ryan Matura Library kicked off their first Blind Date with a Book event.
SHU’s library marketing committee created this event to promote the library in a new and different way.
“The goal of this event was to bring students into the library and to show that it’s more than just a study space,” said User Services Librarian Kimberly Macomber.
For the event, the library staff made their own covers for the books. This kept the titles a mystery so that the students and faculty didn’t know which book they were choosing.
However, the staff didn’t leave the participants totally in the dark with their book covers.
“We took a few clues from the book; whether its fiction, biography, nonfiction, and just a few other major themes from the titles. Then we added our own original art pieces to put on there too,” said User Services Assistant Sharaya Smith.
The staff also wanted to show the variety of books the library has.
“You walk upstairs and glance at those stacks of books and all you see is book after book after book, without seeing what is really there,” said Macomber. “So, the staff each had to pick at least three books that they had read, liked, and thought that our students would like to give them a variety of what we actually own.”
Participants of the event were able to choose from fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, juvenile, history, and philosophic books.
After participants read their books of their choosing, they were able to rate their “date.” On March 29, they had to return their books and had the opportunity to give feedback to the library.
For future events that the library holds, they would like to use new tactics to get more interest from the Sacred Heart community.
“To get the information out earlier I’ve been working more with social media to hopefully put that out there as well,” said Smith.
Participants enjoyed the new event.
“I thought that the event was fun and an interesting way to read, whether it is to find something new to read or to get back into reading,” said senior Exercise Science major Cassandia Poteau.
Catholic Studies professor Dr. Jennifer Reek said the event was playful, creative, and fun.
“I thought the book covers were a clever way of describing what the book was about in a few words and pictures,” said Poteau.
Reek said the covers were delightful and bets that the staff had fun making them.
Although the event was a success, a few participants believe the event can be improved.
“I think the event could be better with more promotions throughout the school, so students would be about to know about it. In addition, there should be an extension on the blind dates, so students can have the chance to learn about the event and participate,” said Poteau.
Macomber said 70 books were chosen by the staff and about 20% of them were checked out by students and faculty.