One of my favorite displays to make is my annual Blind Date With a Book Display. This display features books that are wrapped or otherwise covered so readers can’t see the title or jacket copy of the book until they borrow it. You can label the book with short descriptions, a quote, the first line, or anything else you can think of to entice readers.
I put this type of display up in my library’s teen area at the start of February and leave it up for the entire month. Because it’s themed around Valentine’s Day, the display usually has a lot of pink and red as you’ll see in my photos. What I like about this kind of display, though, is that it’s versatile. I do a similar version for Banned Books Week and provided you have the time and supplies, it can be adapted for almost any theme you choose (masked books for Halloween, anyone?).
As usual I started with a graphic that I created in PicMonkey. I also asked my library’s marketing department about using a hashtag and we came up with #BKLYNBlindDate. Ideally with the hashtag people would share their thoughts about the books they picked up. That didn’t work out this year but I’m hoping maybe it will gain momentum in future displays.
Depending on the type of library you are in and how checkout works, you might have to get creative with wrapping. I’ve seen some libraries cover books with paper bags for quick and dramatic reveals while others wrap the books completely so they look like gifts. In my library checkout is handled in a different department as well as by self-checkout machines so I wanted to keep barcodes visible for easy borrowing.
To wrap the books I used printer paper (sometimes two sheets taped together for larger books) and wrapped the books as if I would a gift. Then I used a scissors to cut out the paper covering the barcode so that it would be visible.
I decorated the books with paper cutout hearts then I wrote quick descriptions for each book. I chose books to appeal to a variety of ages with different genres and titles. Since the books would be wrapped, I also tried to pick titles with multiple copies in case someone wanted to borrow a book that was part of the display. I wrapped books in batches of five to keep the display well-stocked throughout the month.
Here’s the fully stocked display with a few of the wrapped books:
Have you made a Blind Date With a Book display at your library before? If not, hopefully this post has inspired you to create one soon!