We do not have a library at my school. We do, however, have the BiblioTECH. The unusual name is purposeful, indicating our school’s focus on the intersection between books and information technology. Before you groan too loudly, don’t despair. Our BiblioTECH is still a place firmly dedicated to enticing young readers to fall in love with the printed word.
As part of a clever marketing campaign, our un-Librarian (yes…her official title) urged us to take a book on a blind date in February. She wrapped 30+ titles in brown paper and displayed them at the entrance. Anyone could pick a book at random, unwrap it at home, and agree to read it within two weeks. Of course, I couldn’t resist (nor could several of my students).
I’m pleased to report this blind date was a memorable one, an instant attraction filled with easy laughs and serendipitous connections. I was lucky enough to meet Jake Wizner’s Spanking Shakespeare.
Shakespeare Shapiro, a witty and neurotic high school senior, longs to win his school’s memoir contest and lose his virginity. Naturally, in the course of his misadventures he learns a bit about his friends, his family, and himself. A very funny YA read that cleverly sidesteps a pat ending, this first-time novel was a delightful surprise.
I feel lucky to work with fellow passionate readers who are committed to enticing young people into the tribe. I hope you will consider setting up Blind Dates for the readers in your life. Some will be disasters, and others will just be “meh.” Yet, more often than we would expect, there’s magic in these chance encounters.