Category Archives: Dare To Do Different

Wairoa’s LoveMatch Reading Challenge

LoveMatch display at Wairoa Public Library.

LoveMatch display at Wairoa Centennial Library.

In January I embarked on a Year of Romance Reading with a head-to-head LoveMatch: New Zealand vs The World.

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Sandra Hughes, the Manager of Wairoa Centennial Library, took this idea a step further and launched a LoveMatch Reading Challenge for their customers. Below Sandra explains how Wairoa’s LoveMatch Reading Challenge works.

What was your inspiration?
I get Sally’s Finding Heroes posts and when I saw the poster of her personal lovematch challenge it was an instant hit of …”wow, cool poster, WOW,  cool idea, what fun would that be to do with our regular customers”. I thought I was being cheeky asking if we could borrow the poster and idea but… NZ Librarians are THE BEST at sharing ideas. Thanks Sally.

Did you initiate the LoveMatch Reading Challenge or someone else?
It was a combined effort with my Adult Services Librarian Kimberly who jumped at the idea as well.

Why did you want to give it a go?
We had been discussing wanting to do something special for adults once the Summer Reading Programme was over and this was the perfect diving board. We have kept it ‘in house’ rather than promoting it externally as we wanted something special to do with our regular borrowers.

It had an added side benefit in that thanks to Sally we found NZ authors we didn’t have in the library and we able to add them to our collection. We did change a couple of the titles from Sally’s original poster but had most of them.*

How does the Lovematch Reading Challenge work?
We set a target of six months to complete two matches, ie read four books. We gave each participant a booklet with blurbs and a score system, with matches lined up (also a cool bookmark using Sally’s poster). 

LoveMatch scoring fun at Wairoa Public Library

LoveMatch scoring fun at Wairoa Centennial Library

We chose a very simple scoring system (fun and really quick and easy to use). When a participant reads the book they enter the score in their booklet. When the participant has read both, so completed the match they show the staff their score and we put the corresponding number of stickers on the “LoveMatch poster”.

LoveMatch scoreboard at Wairoa Centennial Library.

Participants can choose to complete any number of matches from two to six. We plan to have a match prizegiving at the end where we will hand out some spot prizes and tally up the overall game score between NZ and the World

How many customers are participating?
We have a dozen so far but have left it open until the six months is up, just in case we can enthuse more.

Are staff participating?
Yes myself and Kimberly are enjoying it as well. :-)

What has the response been like?
Most were hesitant at first but everyone is enjoying it now. In fact the most hesitant person is now our most enthusiastic participant, and that has made it worth it alone. This is our very first attempt at anything like this.

What advice would you give others interested in doing something similar?
The set up time was minimal compared to the result. Even those not involved have discussed ideas with us. We have had men say, oh we would do it if you did it again with a different theme (ie not romance ! lol )

We are following it up with a June travel month using the Lonely Planet campaign as a diving board.

*The major changes we made to the choice of books:
a) although we had them in the collection and staff had read them, I couldn’t bring myself to be encouraging about Fifty shades.
b) I own up I am a fan of Nalini Singh but I much prefer her Psy-Changelings series to her angel one so I swapped that title over.

69/100 Days of Creativity: Staffroom Confession

‘Oh em gee Kay, I can’t believe what I just did. I’m sooo embarrassed!’ squeaked Lindy the temporary receptionist.

‘What? What happened?’ replied Lindy’s reluctant ‘go-to-buddy’, Kay as she looked up from her lunch and Facebook feed.

‘I just met Felicity’s partner Martin, and accidentally said ‘your brother is here to see you’ when I told her he was here….they literally look SO ALIKE! It was sooo awkward.’

‘That’s so funny! What did Felicity say?’ asked Kay.

‘She just laughed, thank gawd. They do look like a symbister, right?’

‘Oh, yeah. Totally. Everyone says so.’

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For 100 consecutive days I will write and post a short story (about 100 words) incorporating a randomly selected word from Afterliff: A new dictionary of things there should be words for.

Today’s word:
symbister n.
A pair of lovers who look like brother and sister.

Tomorrow’s word:
ullatti pl. n.
The tiny wooden spades that come with individual tubs of ice cream.

68/100 Days of Creativity: When it Snows

I vibble frequently. And I’m good at it. Heh, maybe I’ll add it to my curriculum vitae under ‘Areas of Expertise’ along with ‘professional waiter’. The story of my life, right there.

I’m meant to be looking for a job, but no-one’s hiring in this market. Or no-one’s interested in hiring someone like me. So I spend my days reading in the library. The library closes at 5pm, the shops close at 5:30pm and my sister doesn’t pick me up until 5:45pm. When it’s snowing outside the only thing to do is to vibble and wait.

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For 100 consecutive days I will write and post a short story (about 100 words) incorporating a randomly selected word from Afterliff: A new dictionary of things there should be words for.

Today’s word:
vibble v.
To dither around inside a shop after closing time, wondering how long you have left.

Tomorrow’s word:
symbister n.
A pair of lovers who look like brother and sister.

67/100 Days of Creativity: From Yaffords to Bowsers

Jessica and I first met at the Yafford club. Jessica’s boxer, Fifi was dragging her along the footpath when Bruno cut in front and their leads became tangled. Struggling to slow the dogs down and untangle them led to coffee and three years later we walked down the aisle together; all four of us.

Fifi and Bruno have mellowed over the years and aren’t the young yaffords they once were so this week Jessica and I are taking the dogs to the Bowser club. We think when someone looks like their dog it is the ultimate display of  love and affection and we want to share that with others like us.

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For 100 consecutive days I will write and post a short story (about 100 words) incorporating a randomly selected word from Afterliff: A new dictionary of things there should be words for.

Today’s word:
yafford n.
A dog that walks its owner.

Tomorrow’s word:
vibble v.
To dither around inside a shop after closing time, wondering how long you have left.

66/100 Days of Creativity: Not Happily Ever After

Heaven is not what I had imagined. I had imagined Heaven to be like the Three Bears welcoming Goldilocks into their home, happily sitting together around the table, and the porridge always being ‘just right’. Not too hot and not too cold.

But Heaven’s not like that at all. It’s like waiting for a train. St Peter checks your ticket and then directs you to another queue seemingly at random. I’ve been waiting in a furzey lodge with a handful of other people for two rainy days. The staff are surly and show no interest in me. There is porridge though. But it is certainly not ‘just right’.

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For 100 consecutive days I will write and post a short story (about 100 words) incorporating a randomly selected word from Afterliff: A new dictionary of things there should be words for.

Today’s word:
furzey lodge n.
A cafe that looks like someone’s front room.

Tomorrow’s word:
yafford n.
A dog that walks its owner.