A couple of weeks after some American booksellers were in the news for doing a similar thing, two Belgians are attempting to start speed-dating programs in Belgian libraries. The initiative, created by Eric Van der Straeten and Danny Theuwis (who appear to have no official affiliation with the library), is a bid to increase attendance and change the public’s perception of libraries as stuffy places, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The two have trained upwards of 300 librarians on hosting what they call “lib-dating sessions,” but it is unknown just how many of those librarians will apply the training. This attempt to popularize libraries comes in response to flagging attendance. According to Frederika Van Wing, manager of the Flanders public library network’s campaign to boost visits, “only 35 percent of those living in the northern Flemish region of Belgium belong to a public library.”
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