The New York Times has a nice write-up about speed-dating nights held at public libraries. It includes an interview with a man who says he hasn’t stepped foot in a public library in years. It was also cute to read about the librarians that organize these events. They probably feel like high school teachers that chaperone the prom! The speed-dating participants were told to bring their favorite book:
Can Atlas Shrugged find love with the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test? Is attraction possible between a Jonathan Franzen reader and a die-hard Elizabeth Gilbert fan?
One of the libraries mentioned in the article is San Francisco Public Library. The San Francisco Chronicle has a good report of the event with a catchy headline: Singles Check One Another Out. The article talks up libraries “new” social aspects.
Now I know folks who say that this shouldn’t be part of a library’s mission, but the “community” is the library’s mission. If it’s something that can benefit the community, then why not?
It also reminds me of my favorite librarian/love anecdote. This is a true story:
A librarian is sitting at the reference desk. Behind her are large volumes of Chemical Abstracts (back when print was the only option!). In comes a chemistry professor. He walks up to the desk and asks her, “Do you have a background in chemistry?” Motioning behind her to the Chemical Abstracts, she says, “Why yes, I do!” The professor laughs. They started dating and ended up getting married.
Love in the stacks? This librarian approves.