From the Archives: The HPL Proposal



Here's one from the archives! Originally posted December 10, 2010

Paige and Patrick, we would love to hear an update!


On Friday, November 5, Mani Sundar, a librarian at Houston Public Library’s Central Library, received an exciting call while staffing our telephone reference service. A customer, Patrick, requested the assistance of a reference librarian. Patrick had a romantic idea, and he just needed some help to put his plan in action. You see, Patrick wished to stage a marriage proposal inside the Central Library on the following day! Mani was very excited and wanted to help Patrick in whatever way she could.

Patrick’s plan was to place a book he had made near the romance books in the fiction collection, bring his girlfriend, Paige, to the library, and request help in finding the book. Being a public facility, Mani was a little concerned about leaving such a precious item on the shelf unattended, so she agreed to take the book and arrange for it to be placed on the shelf once Patrick brought Paige to the reference desk. Mani asked Patrick why he had chosen to propose at the library, and he said that both he and Paige are book lovers, and he couldn’t think of a better place. He chose Houston Public Library’s Central Library because he thinks it is a beautiful facility.

Saima Kadir with Patrick & Paige

On Saturday, November 6, the plan was put into action. Patrick approached the Welcome Desk and asked for Mani, who just happened to already be staffing that desk. He left the book with Mani, and a few minutes later he came back with Paige. We don’t have a romance section, per se, so Mani chose to place the book, complete with a library label indicating that the book was a Classic, near Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Patrick brought Paige to the reference desk and asked for assistance in finding a book. Mani escorted the couple to the aisle in which the book had been placed and told them she thought they would find what they were looking for there. Patrick located the book, which told Patrick and Paige’s story, and handed it to Paige. On the last page of the book, Patrick had written, “Will you marry me?”, and when Paige reached that page, he dropped to his knee and presented her with a ring. The book had a happy ending when Paige accepted his proposal and said yes!

Naturally, Mani couldn’t keep such a secret to herself, so there were many librarian spectators hidden nearby to watch the proposal unfold. Once the “yes” was given, everyone stepped out and shared their well wishes with the happy couple!

All of us at Houston Public Library wish Patrick and Paige, the storybook couple, a happy ever after!

Photo: Saima Kadir with Patrick & Paige after the proposal


This was such a precious story. It was perfect for Valentine's day and provides a very personal feel to such a large place as the Central Library location.

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