Blind Date with a Book
Unwrap a mystery book
As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover. John Jay Middle School Library can help with that. The first things students see as they enter the library are shelves of books completely wrapped in blue, purple or orange paper. Look closely: there are also a few clues on each package, like:
Escaping a Doomed Earth
Welcome to Blind Date with a Book! It’s one of many engaging ways that Library Media Specialist Jenn Useted and Library Clerk Susan O'Malley promote reading—and encourage students to read more widely.
a good match
Library Media Specialist Jenn Useted
exposing students to books they may not choose on their own
“I love that it encourages students to try something they may not necessarily choose if they are browsing the shelves,” said Useted. Through the feedback students provide on a “Rate Your Date” cards, she sees readers trying new genres and recommending books to their friends.
Students can participate when they visit John Jay Middle School’s Library during their free time, such as after lunch and during recess, when the library hums with students browsing the shelves, relaxing on comfy chairs with good books, playing games or doing homework.
Blind Date with a Book has been running throughout February. It's coming down soon to make way for March Madness, library style!
Easy and fun
This is Abbey's fourth round. She knows she likes realistic fiction, but sometimes it's hard to choose. She said that Blind Date with a Book makes it easy. “It’s fun!”
Finn has also played. He likes to read sci-fi. “I picked a post-apocalyptic book about a kid stuck in Iowa when Yellowstone’s super volcano erupts,” he said. “It was great.”
There's a separate shelf in the office for teachers to play, and Assistant Principal Catherine Graybosch has picked a gothic thriller. "My book and I are just getting to know each other," she said. "I think it might be a match!"
This time, when Abbey plays, she opens the package to find “Seven Clues to Home.” “Oh, that’s one of my favorites,” said Useted, happy to be the matchmaker between books and readers.