The Human Library
Founded in 2001 in Denmark to promote human rights and social cohesion, a Human Library emphasizes empathy as a tool to create greater understanding between people, and provides an intentional space where people learn more about each other and work through stereotypes and discrimination present in their community in order to ultimately 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 and share their story. Like a regular library, the Human Library has a book jacket and description, and a “reader” can check out “books” on a topic that he/she/they may be interested in learning more about. For example, readers could learn about the experiences of NAU’s international students and faculty; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQIA people; and individuals who practice a particular religious faith. Readers who participate learn more about that person, their life and the challenges and stereotypes that they have overcome or presently face. Readers can check out books for a 20-minute period, during which time readers and books have a one-on-one conversation.
For more information about Human Libraries, check out the international Human Library site.