Every Human Library should provide an opportunity for Readers to engage in dialogue that may challenge prejudices they have or assumptions they could make based on stereotype.
Why Human Library?
There are a number of reasons why stereotypes and prejudice exists in communities, and the reasons people hold them are extremely wide-ranging. Therefore the Human Library is an equalities movement that seeks to challenge discrimination towards all individuals and groups.
By reflecting such diversity the Human Library provides Readers many opportunities to challenge their prejudice because they can choose from a wide variety of Human Book titles. Therefore Readers engage with equality and diversity on their terms because Human Books have volunteered to socially interact, and given their permission for a Reader to ask them respectful questions.
Take out your prejudice!
Every Book title should directly provoke or acknowledge the stereotype, stigma or prejudice that the Book wants to challenge. Readers can choose a Book and sit down for a conversation where they have the permission to respectfully ask any question. This unique privilege of the Human Library is made possible by volunteer Human Books.
Although Books use personal experience to challenge prejudice, the Human Library is not a mechanism for storytelling or self-promotion. It is a movement that uses social contact and intercultural dialogue to promote equality and acceptance and reduce discrimination and hate.
The creators of the Human Library always intended the movement to be for all people who feel prejudiced against, for any reason. Therefore, there should never be a themed Human Library which seeks to challenge prejudice towards a single group, cause or issue, because any event highlighting one group or issue over another is arguably discriminating against people who do not belong to that community, but still experience prejudice for different reasons.
The Human Library Organisation and Movement does not seek to higlight one cause over another. Our aim is to end discrimination towards multiple people or groups by challenging the prejudices and stigma that can lead to marginalisation.
These principles constitute the methodology of the Human Library and must be understood and applied by all Organisers, Books and Staff at evey Human Library event.
To find out how the Human Library works in practice click here