Valentine’s week is not only for expressing love to significant others but also for celebrating relationships with the Harold B. Lee Library.
“We sort of invented Love Your Library Week,” said Roger Layton, communications manager at the HBLL.
From Feb. 11 to Feb. 13, students could write on heart cutouts finishing the phrase, “I love my library because ….” Answers ranged from, “It’s full of books,” to, “My boyfriend’s always in there.”
Last year the HBLL organized a hug-the-library event where students circled around the library and joined together to “hug” the library. This year Layton said they were worried the weather wouldn’t permit for another outside activity so they organized an inside event.
“It’s gone way beyond our expectations,” Layton said. “We were playing catch up from the start.”
Originally, the HBLL workers prepared 700 heart cutouts for the week, but all of those hearts were gone by 3 p.m. on Monday. Students who filled out hearts were entered into a drawing to win an iPad mini.
“Even though I work here, there is so much accessible for students, and it is all free basically,” said Lydia Nielsen, a library employee.
Another feature at the front display is “Blind date … with a book.” HBLL employees and teachers recommended books; then they wrapped the books in brown paper with the bar code on the outside. People check out books without knowing what they are getting.
On Valentine’s Day, the HBLL will open its “Tunnel of Love” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The “Tunnel of Love” is in a hallway on the second floor of the library. Some of the items being featured are Victorian valentines, hearts with book titles containing the words “love” or “heart” in the title, a librarian matrix to help students find the best librarian to help them and a “Heat map” for people to mark places where they’ve been asked out or where proposals have taken place. There will be cookies served and “Love Your Library” T-shirts for the first 400 people.
“You have to learn something to get a T-shirt,” Layton said.