The Human Library is an international movement for social change, based around a concept that encourages us to challenge our prejudices through social contact.
What is a Human Library?
Just like in a real library, a visitor to the Human Library can choose a Book from a range of titles. The difference is that Books are people! Once the Reader has chosen a Book they sit down with their Book and engage in a short respectful conversation.
The Human Library was created for the 2000 Roskile Music Festival by a group of Danish activists. Their idea was to use the language and mechanism of a library to facilitate conversations that challenge prejudice, thereby reducing the risk of tension and violence.
From a base in Copenhagen the creators and founders of the Human Library movement have helped it to grow steadily across the world and is now active in over 60 countries. For more information about the history of the Human Library Organisation click here
What does the Human Library do?
The Human Library provides a safe environment for people to respectfully challenge their prejudices, on their own terms. To become a Reader, all you have to do is agree to participate, choose a Book, and sit down to talk.
By providing an opportunity for people to challenge their own prejudices the Human Library has the potential to positivley change our attitudes and opinions we have towards everyone we share our communities with.
By using Book titles that acknowledge or provoke a potential prejudice or stigma, the Human Library raises awareness of multiple issues and conditions.
And most importantly, by seeking to challenge the multiple prejudices within any community, the Human Library makes a bold statement of support for inclusion and acceptance. Therefore the wider effects of the Human Library have the potential to contribute to an awareness of the circumstances that can lead to bullying, abuse and hate crime.
For more information about the Human Library methodology click here