Book in for a night of speed dating

19:37, Jan 28 2014
Andrew Eng and Bonnie Mager
LINE UP: Library staff Andrew Eng and Bonnie Mager set up for speed dating being held at the Invercargill Public Library on Valentine’s Day.

Invercargill library staff are hoping single library-goers will stop reading romantic novels and instead create their own love story.

Speed dating may not be a new phenomenon but it's certainly a new scheme for the Invercargill Public Library.

The speed dating will be held this Valentines Day but will be done with a twist. It will include 40 people, two hours, a pile of books and hopefully "a few checkouts".

Organiser Bonnie Mager came up with the idea after a Google search of different things the library could do to get young people together.

She decided on the idea of speed dating and, along with events and design co-ordinator Jane Watkinson, decided to merge it with books to make it "a bit different".

They hoped to attract people in their mid to late 20s, though everyone was welcome.

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It was not going to be the "usual cliched speed-dating night" but more light-hearted and fun, she said.

"People will be given quirky books as conversation-starters and at the end of the night, if people choose to check out the book we will swap details with their match."

Miss Mager said people had already signed up to the event and even some of the library staff would be partaking.

Miss Watkinson said with only 40 tickets to sell at the library, people would have to get in quick.

She understood that people might be apprehensive, so people were being encouraged to "bring a friend", she said.

If the night is successful and love is in the air, the library will look at doing it again.

The Southland Times