You may remember in our very first episode of our CMLE podcast we discussed how Penn State is using the concept of “Human books” to build connections between people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. (Find that article here).
Since we think this idea is so interesting and smart, we were excited to see it back in the news again with this article from American Libraries Magazine. The article shares some history about the concept of Human Libraries and also describes how Williams College in Massachusetts is implementing it as a program in their academic library in order to “confront prejudice and stereotypes.”
From the article:
“Globally, Human Libraries have taken off in a big way. More than 2,000 Human Library events have been hosted in 84 countries since the project first started 17 years ago, according to Ronni Abergel, founder of the international Human Library network, who cohosted the first Human Library in Copenhagen. Once the four-day gathering ended, Abergel says he couldn’t let go of the vital conversations that arose between his living “books” and “readers,” especially one between a police officer and a group of antifascist youth, a pairing whose relationship grew from antagonistic to productive within an hour.”
Read more about how to apply to be a Human Library and tips for “developing” your collection!