Valentine’s Day at WKU includes ‘mystery dates’ with books


Olivia Mohr

For Valentine’s Day, the Leisure Books area of the Commons at Cravens features a shelf of many mysterious books wrapped in simple brown craft paper for students to choose as “mystery dates.”

Phrases are written on the paper wrapping to give hints about the books’ contents, including hints like “coming of age,” “spaceships,” “this town is on fire” and “murder, intrigue and double-crossing.”

The WKU Libraries Display Committee chooses and creates displays for most cases in the Main Libraries. The committee put on the Mystery Date with a Book promotion, and this is the third time it has done so.

The committee put on the promotion in 2014 and 2015 and brought the promotion back this year, and it has captured students’ attention.The promotion will continue until the end of February.

Students check out the mystery books before unwrapping them and take them home to read. Rate Your Date questionnaires are placed in each book so students can rate their experiences with their “dates.”

Once students fill out the questionnaires, they can take them to a drop box at the circulation desk in the Commons at Cravens marked “Mystery Date with a Book” to enter a drawing for the chance to win one of three prizes. Three random winners will be drawn randomly on March 7. Winners drawn from the box will be notified by phone or email.

Katie King, Senior Acquisitions Assistant, processes and orders book requests for the library. She serves on several of the libraries’ committees including the Libraries Display Committee. King hopes students explore new book genres and broaden their horizons.

“We’re hoping that students will take home a book that they normally wouldn’t and give it a try,” King said. “Maybe they’ll discover a new author or genre that they really enjoy.”

King hopes through this promotion, “Maybe [students will] discover a new author or genre that they really enjoy despite what they previously thought about it. Maybe they usually only read fiction and picked up a non-fiction book and enjoyed it more than they expected. Maybe they won’t judge a book by its author, genre or cover.”

Senior Reference and Periodicals Assistant Allison Sircy’s main job in the library is to co-manage and supervise the periodicals unit and helps out in Reference when needed. She is also involved with the Libraries Display Committee.

“We hope that [the program] will encourage students to visit WKU Libraries, as well as show the other facets of the libraries,” Sircy said. “While providing research assistance and materials is a large part of our purpose, we are also here as a place of community for WKU and to Bowling Green in general.”

“This program is geared towards fun and leisure,” Sircy said. “With that in mind, we hope that it encourages students and others to read for the fun [of it] and to try a new book, genre, or author. We decided to do Mystery Date with a Book mainly because it’s fun for the WKU community and for the committee as well.”

The Mystery Date with a book program is a way to encourage students to read and get interested in new genres and authors, and the staff encourages students to read for fun in addition to reading academic texts.

“Hopefully, by providing a little mystery on exactly what the books are, we will entice students to try something new that they might not otherwise,” Sircy said. “There is a great deal of academic reading that is involved with going to college, and hopefully with this display, we are encouraging the notion that you can still read for fun.”

Reporter Olivia Mohr can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected].