The Human Library is a mobile event which uses the language and mechanism of a library to challenge prejudice.
In it's purest form, the Human Library encourages Readers to 'take out their prejudice' by borrowing a Human Book who represents individuals or groups who experience prejudice and discrimination.
Readers are assisted by Staff to make their choice from a range of titles which provoke or acknowledge prejudice, stigma or stereotype.
Once they have made their choice, Reader and Book will sit down for a conversation lasting between 20 and 40 minutes. During that conversation prejudice is challenged directly through the Book's experience of prejudice, or indirectly through meaningful interaction with a stranger.
However, it is recognised some Readers are unlikely to publicly declare their prejudice but may be motivated to participate for a wide variery of reasons.
This is why the mechanism of the library was chosen, and why the Human Library is so effective. Sometimes our opinons and attitudes are based upon stereotype and prejudice, and we might be unaware that we respond in such a way.
Think about the first thing that comes into your mind when you encounter terms such as 'Immigrant', 'Schizophrenic', 'Drug Addict', 'Chav', or 'Asylum Seeker'. It is likely that all of our responses will be influenced to some degree by stereotype or prejudice.
To read more about the Human Library click here