People who have experienced prejudice, stereotyping, or significant life experiences volunteer to share their stories with others. They make themselves available to Readers who listen, learn, and understand about the Human Books' topics.
For example, a Human Book could be a person who has experienced discrimination and has chosen "Growing Up Black" as their book title. This Human Book could share a conflict they had to overcome and how it impacted their life. They may share their perceptions of how others see them: the prejudice or stereotyping they may have experienced. The Reader of this Human Book would have opportunities to ask questions about the Human Book's story.
Readers review a catalog of Human Book titles and chose the one they want to borrow. They spend twenty minutes with the Human Book and engage in open and respectful dialog .
The Human Library has identified seven pillars of prejudice that may be the subject of Human Books.
The Human Library® is learning platform where readers can borrow human beings serving as open books and have conversations they would not normally encounter. The books found within the Human Library are people representing different groups in our society that often face prejudice, stigmatization or discrimination. Their personal stories give the reader a unique learning experience in diversity. The concept of the Human Library originated in Copenhagen and s now operational on six continent in 85 countries.
Source: Human Library Organization
The purpose of the event is educational with the following learning objectives:
Diversity and inclusion is an essential foundation for a liberal arts education. The university strives to build greater understanding by sponsoring programs and events that educate the campus community about historically marginalized groups. There is interest and excitement on campus about staging a Human Library as an innovative platform for strengthening our community's abilities to engage both critically and inclusively across difference through open and honest dialog.
Watch these short videos to learn about the Human Library.