In San Francisco, libraries serve many more purposes than they do in other towns -- in which they're mainly used by 14-year-olds to loudly check their Facebook accounts until the librarian boots them out.
Here they serve as de facto homeless shelters, online poker hubs, and, you know, repositories of many millions of books. Come February, however, the library takes on a new persona: Love shack.
On Feb. 1 for the straights and one day later for gays and lesbians, it's the inaugural "Literary Speed Dating" extravaganza: A night for those who hope to find love at the library -- or were at the library anyway and might as well look for love.
Participants -- and it's limited to 36 a night, so pre-registration is a must -- are encouraged to bring a book they want to talk about as an "icebreaker." That comprises the "literary" portion of the dating night, other than the event being housed in the Mail Library. Daters are urged to use their good judgment before brandishing anything by Dan Brown, Cormac McCarthy, William Burroughs, Hunter Thompson, or Theodor Geisel.
Sorry, the event is limited to those in their 20s or 30s -- but you didn't need a book to tell you life's not fair.
Library officials note that those who don't find Mr. or Ms. Right (or Right Now) are always welcome to clamber upstairs and look for a book. For those who've been looking for love in all the wrong places, try the Main Library's third floor. No, really.