What is the Human Library?
The Human Library has built a safe space for dialogue through personal conversation. It is a library of people ready to talk and share what they know and believe. We publish people for open and honest conversations, where “people” are books prepared to be published and read like an open book. The books are ready to answer difficult questions relating to issues that are often taboo or challenging to talk about, but necessary for people to get answers in order to better understand. We foremost publish people that represent a group in the community that is exposed to stigma, stereotyping or prejudices based on occupation, ethnicity, religious belief, gender, cultural background, health, social status, lifestyle or disability.
What is a Human Library book?
The expected role of a Human Library book:
- To serve as a representative of your group, so that others may learn about life as/with/from.
- We do not give lectures or speeches. We do not have a presentation.
- We serve as an open book and it is up to the readers to ask us about our content. Naturally, all books are encouraged to initiate the “reading” with a table of contents and a blurb to give their readers an insight to the different chapters available and this always gets the conversation going.
- Books are adults and do not need to be Wellesley residents.
What is a Human Library event?
The Human Library event aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. Individuals who have experienced discrimination volunteer as human “books” and participants at the event can “read” the book–meaning have a one-on-one conversation to hear the book’s experiences centered around discrimination. Through conversation and open dialogue, we want to break down barriers and stereotypes of all kinds.
As a participant, you just come to the event, select the book title you are interested in, sit with that book, and listen to their firsthand story of being stereotyped and how they overcame it. You can visit with as many or as few books as you’re interested in throughout the day. You can ask any questions while maintaining respect. Come with an open mind.
If you’d like to apply to be a book, please fill out the short form below. All information is kept confidential. Contact Cara Rothman (email@example.com), Assistant Director, with questions.