I got my Public Libraries magazine in the mail and what did I find?
An article entitled: The Human Library: Sharing the Community with Itself
Here’s the abstract, so you know what human libraries are:
An overview of human libraries, programs that allow community members (“readers”) to “check out” other community members who have volunteered to be “books” for individual conversation.
What struck me when I initially saw it was that I already knew about them from my study abroad to Denmark. As we were touring the Copenhagen Main Library, Christina Wandi told us about a program they had where during their Pride celebration, their books were people of all different sexual orientations and people could check them out to learn more about them. She said they had a huge turnout, too many people in fact and that it was a huge success. There were older and younger people alike who were interested in asking the “books” their questions.
I was so intrigued by the idea of a safe space where people can learn about each other. In everyday life, one might be too shy to ask questions or have a fear of offending the other person, so I think this is a remarkable idea, especially for the topic of sexual orientation. I could see it for other things like professionals being “checked out” by students.
There are so many possibilities and I can’t wait to propose this to the library where I work and the library where I volunteer!
Start your own human libraries!!