I make contact with that student to try to find out what would appeal to him or her and attempt to meet that need.
In addition to being fun, book speed dating gives the students a chance to get to know a book before forming a “committed relationship” with it.
They must read the cover, front and back flaps, and begin reading the book during the dating period.
If I shared a dozen books and half of them were actually checked out, I was happy.
For the rest of the period, students would browse the stacks in search of a book, find one quickly, and then sit down and chat with their friends until the bell rang.
I ask the girls to have a seat first, spacing them out so that there are no more than two per table. This is to ensure that there is an adequate variety of books that will appeal to both genders at each table. As the activity progresses, I watch that students read and engage with the books.
Sometimes, after a few “dates,” I see that a student does not appear to be interested in any of the choices.
After reading how other media specialists set up their programs, I came up with a plan that works well in my library.
With some modifications, I have used this basic procedure with all grade levels, from freshmen to seniors, from resource classes to advanced placement students.
It’s always great to have students think a program is fun, but it’s an added bonus when that program gets books into their hands that they really enjoy and actually finish.