Human Library

Today I went to the Prince George Public Library‘s first Human Library event. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Human Library is

an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach.

In its initial form the Human Library is a mobile library set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors to a Human Library are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background.

The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding.

The participants today represented a wide range of experiences, cultures, ethnicities, religions, and professions. I spoke to three “books” today and could easily have talked to more. Congratulations to the library staff and all the volunteers, including the books themselves, on a successful event! I hope the library has more events like this–I look forward to attending them.

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