Love was in the air at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub in Warrington on Wednesday 13th February, when LiveWire held its first Library Speed Dating event – which received fantastic feedback from those who attended.
Organised by LiveWire’s Community Librarian Team, the free event was one of the UK’s first ever speed dating events held in a public library space.
It was attended by around 30 people who enjoyed coffee and cake and the chance to meet and chat with new people, in the welcoming and familiar setting of a library.
Wendy Molyneux, LiveWire Strategic Libraries Manager, came up with the idea for a speed dating event. Such was the unusual nature of the event, Wendy was even invited on to BBC Radio Manchester to talk about the idea.
Following the event, Wendy said: “There was a fantastic atmosphere in the library during the event, and everyone looked like they were having a great time. Overwhelmingly people told us they enjoyed it and said it was a good way to meet new people, and that they hope we organise similar events in the future.
Quite a few people made comments about how they liked the idea it was in a library rather than a bar or club because they felt safe, and it was nice to meet people face to face rather than virtually.
It was also a great way to engage with the community and help combat potential social isolation – all important functions of libraries.”
The speed dating event has been praised by Time to Read, the partnership of public library authorities in the North West that collaborate on reader development initiatives.
Ian Anstice, Time to Read co-ordinator, said: “This is fantastic to see. The LiveWire Team has gone way beyond in order to come up with a successful event that looks like it will start a bit of a trend. It took some bravery to put on something like this and it is great to see it has paid off. Linking it so closely to Valentine’s Day was inspired as well. We know people love books and all the other services that libraries provide but it’s great to see love itself as a possibility now.”
LiveWire hopes to hold more speed dating events in the future – for more information on this and any other future events, visit www.livewirewarrington.co.uk/events