February 17, 2018

Missed (Library) Connections

Furtive glances over study carrels. Hair-raising brush-bys in the stacks.

The idea of sparking romance over ancient tomes in the library is likely as old as the university model itself. But unabashedly seeking out library hook-ups has been relatively taboo, at least until recently.

photo by miss karen

As the Guardian reports, a new site called FitFinder is helping students make the leap from flirty eyes to something more—a Craigslist Missed Encounters of the Library Kind ("fit" is a britishism for attractive;  the site lists UK libraries only, at least for now).

The article describes the idea:

The concept is simple. If you "find a fitty" in the library you can anonymously post up a short description of them on your university’s fitfinder. You have the option to describe yourself, or provide a telephone number. Others in the library, including the targeted fitty, are able to comment on the post.

So last night, in UCL’s archeology library, one student anonymously posted:

"Female, brunette, tall, dark. I winked, you winked, find me at the same place tomorrow. I’ll be wearing a red and blue pinstripe shirt."

Though it may blow some boomers’ minds, digital matchmaking and hook-up enabling on campus is nothing new (cf. Wescam/Wesmatch at Wesleyan, Yale students copying/emulating the idea, the broader CampusMatch endeavor, etc.).

But the library angle here is new, and a reason to take heart. It highlights the library as a not-to-be-missed social scene on campus, one with apparently tremendous untapped romantic potential.

No ideas on how to convey the perception of that value to the college and university higher-ups, but hey, all library use is good use, right?

Josh Hadro About Josh Hadro

Josh Hadro (@hadro on Twitter) is the former Executive Editor of Library Journal.