Human Libraries: Where You Check Out People Instead of Books
Founded in 2001 in Denmark to promote human rights and social cohesion, the human library project seeks to create greater understanding between people and provide a safe space where we can learn more about each other and work through stereotypes and discrimination present in our community in order to ultimately to forge new connections between people.
A Human Library consists of “books” that are human. Each of these books volunteer to take part in the library. Like a regular library, the Human Library has a card catalog, and a reader can check out “books” on a topic that he or she may be interested in learning more about.
For example, you can check out various categories such as “policeman”, “Vietnam veteran”, “jock”, “nerd”, “transgender”, or “Buddhist” and learn more about that person, their life and the challenges and stereotypes that they have overcome or face. Readers can check out books for a 20 minute time period during which reader and book have a one on one conversation.