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The NoveList Romance Salon

Post by Lisa Schimmer
Posted March 05, 2014 in Readers' Advisory News

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As the resident romance expert (and avid romance reader), I’ve been leading a cross-departmental team focused on reviewing and refreshing NoveList’s romance collection. You may have noticed our handiwork in several new romance genre headings (Erotic, Category, or Highland romances, anyone?) and the new sensuality appeal terms. More good stuff is on the way and my mission to spread the love for romance hasn’t been confined to bibliographic records in NoveList. 

Fizzy drinks in champagne flutes...what's more romantic than that?

Early last month, I set up each staff member on a blind date with a romance novel. Last Friday afternoon, at NoveList’s first Romance Salon, we convened to discuss how everyone’s blind dates went.  While some pairings worked out better than others, the discussion ranged far beyond what everyone read. To warm up the crowd, we played a Family Feud-style game where the participants were asked to identify popular romance tropes; then we described what worked -- or didn’t work -- on our blind dates. Some people loved the way the plot developed, some found the book’s premise hard to believe, some fell in love with a whole new sub-genre. On balance, the romance of romance is alive and well, since many of the blind dates ended with an ongoing relationship to author, series, or subgenre. Sustained by (non-alcoholic) fizzy drinks and sweet treats, everyone had a good time talking about their books, other books they had read, and sub-genres that weren’t represented in the dating pool.     

The table spread was made complete with a painting of a particularly debonair David Bowie. 


A selection of some of the romance novels NoveList staff fell in love with. 




Want to do something similar in your library when Valentine's Day rolls around again? Have your romance-loving staff select their favorite romance novels and wrap them up in discreet packaging -- becuase unwrapping is half the fun, right? Encourage your patrons to go on a blind date with one of the books, and invite them to a discussion event (with snacks and fizzy drinks provided of course). Want even more ideas for romance-themed programming? Check out what Jennifer Lohmann of the Durham County Library did in her Fall Into Romance program

Lisa Schimmer is a Senior Cataloger at NoveList.