It was not your typical blind date, but people who went on this date did not know what to expect either.
The “Blind Date with a Book” contest is coordinated by Missouri Valley Public Library Library Director Bruce Kocher and was in its third year and is fast becoming a fun tradition for the library and its patrons.
This year’s winners, Cindy Neubauer, who won a wine basket, and Anne Prucha, who won the tea basket, were both looking forward to enjoying their prizes that were awarded to them.
"It is a wonderful thing,” said Prucha, “and it's very nice participating in the library program. They do so many fun things, but it's more fun to win!"
Neubauer commented, “My blind date turned out to be a winner even though my story was just an okay story.”
The “Blind Date with a Book” contest is held during the month of February. People participate by selecting a book that has its dust jacket covered up so that the person does not know the book that is being received; thus, the blind date surprise.
The contest provides the Missouri Valley Public Library with a fun and innovative way to build and expand on readers’ literary interests.
“The books are selected for the program by Library Director Bruce Kocher,” said Librarian DeAnn Kruempel. “Once people select a book, they take it home to read the book and then evaluate it as to whether it was a good read for them by filling out a questionnaire. Then it is dropped in the prize drawing box as an entry form.”
The contest can be entered as many times as the reader can read a book, finish it, and then fill out the questionnaire entry by the cutoff deadline of the contest. The reading takes place during the month of February and the sweepstakes winners are drawn on March 1.
The books range from classics, mystery, and romance to adventure and non-fiction.
“The purpose is to try to get people to maybe read book genres that they normally haven’t read before,” said Kruempel. “That is kind of the plan.”
“Blind Date with a Book” is funded through library funds and has proven to be a fun, popular event for patrons.
“We had 87 books that were read and entered for the contest,” said Kruempel.