Keller Citizen

Keller Library love: Checking out budget friendly date ideas

Liza Chapman, public services librarian, spearheaded the date night kits at Keller Library.
Liza Chapman, public services librarian, spearheaded the date night kits at Keller Library. Special to Star-Telegram

The Keller Public Library is getting into the dating game.

Earlier this month, the library began offering date night kits, which couples can check out for free and use to plan a date.

The kits are designed for couples to be able to plan an enjoyable night out without breaking the bank, said Liza Chapman, public services librarian.

“The idea was to give the resources for people to do something different and have fun,” she said.

Libraries are also more than just books, Chapman said.

“We are trying to be more creative on ways people think about the library,” she said.

Kelly Holt, a library customer relations employee, was one of the first people to check out a board game date night kit.

“We didn’t have a babysitter, so we used it as a family night and played games with the kids,” Holt said.

Once the kids went to bed, they used the talking points in the kit to ask each other questions.

“There was a lot to choose from in the kit, and we actually bought one of the games because the kids loved it so much,” she said.

Not having to spend a lot of money on the fun evening was a bonus, Holt said.

“We also didn’t have to plan it and had so many options,” she said.

Date night kits were a way to reach younger adults as well, said Rae Cheney, library services manager.

“One of my goals is to have more outreach programs for adults,” Cheney said. “We tend to lose younger adults and don’t get them back until they have kids.”

Thinking of non-traditional ideas, such as date night kits, are ways to get younger adults back to the library, Cheney said.

“What college student doesn’t need a cheap date,” she said.

They’re getting positive feedback, she said.

“As we tiptoed in doing these innovative check outs, we’ve had nothing but success,” she said.

The kits also take out the element of deciding what to do, Cheney said.

The next step, if the date night kits prove to be successful, is to launch more kits, such as family night kits, Cheney said.

Currently there are five date night kits to choose from: Picnic Perfect, which offers a picnic basket, blanket, wine cork, portable speaker and games; French and Italian Experiences, which offers cookbooks, scenic puzzles, three movies related to the countries and cultural CDs; Game On, which offers a variety of board games, puzzles and a pizza cookbook; Here’s Looking at You Kid, which is a classic movies kit. It offers five classic movies, a dessert and popcorn cookbook and a cocktail recipe book.

Kits are free and can be checked out for three week periods to anyone with a Keller, Fort Worth, or other local public library card. For more information, call 817-743-4840.

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