The Human Library is a twist on a traditional library - a way for people to reach out and connect with individuals in their community with whom they might not normally interact. Visitors (known as “Readers”) to the library have an opportunity during the event to “borrow” and engage in conversation with a Human Book. Human Libraries promote tolerance, celebrate differences and encourage understanding of people who come from varied cultural or lifestyle backgrounds. The event creates a safe space to have honest, open dialogue.
Human Books are community volunteers, age 18+, who are willing to share their unique life stories with others in a safe environment. The Human Books are people from all walks of life who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability and other aspects of their life. The Human Books offer the Reader an opportunity to explore and move beyond stereotypes, and learn more about each other through stories.
Readers are visitors to the Human Library who have the opportunity to participate in one-on-one or small group conversations with our Human Books, to ask questions, and to learn about another’s experiences. Readers “check out” Human Books for an allotted amount of time, and will walk away with the mutual understanding of being human beyond a single identity. The Human Library encourages people to challenge their own preconceived notions—to truly get to know, and learn from, someone they might otherwise make a snap judgement about.
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