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As a proponent of choice reading, I am always looking for ways to get books into the hands of my students and have them build their reading list, and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s week than having your students speed date books?

Inspired by the speed dating scene in New York where single people met potential dates over a brief, timed conversation and ranked them, speed dating books is a way for students to quickly put their hands on several books in order to find one of interest.

Students make notes on first impressions of the cover, the inside jacket blurb, and possibly even the first paragraph or two.

The timer buzzes signaling students to move to another table and start the process with another book.

:) If students couldn't decide on "a date" by the end of the period, they might go on a "blind date" with a book.

Many students found "dates" to take home to read, and all students received a Hershey's kiss--because the perfect date ends with a small kiss!

Richard Andrews, left, and Gregg Limley were among the 80 daters at the W. “(We) try to reconnect them with the library while they’re here, and hopefully they make a love connection too,” said Emily Getzschman, the library’s marketing manager.

Yolanda White of Omaha goes on a three-minute date during the Omaha Public Library's annual speed dating event at the W. About 80 people attended Sunday's speed dating event, which was for participants 45 and older.

The Surry Hills Library readers' group meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6pm to 7pm.

When we arrive in the library, several books are arranged on tables and students find a table and sit with their guided note page.

I set the timer for anywhere between two to four minutes depending on the students, and the book dating begins.

During the event, students and guests browsed through more than 200 artists’ books from Pattee Library's circulating collection, with participants checking out a number of them for later projects.

This book party was followed up a week later by a visit to the artists’ books in the Special Collections Library.

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