Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everyone Has a Story

"Human Library: Don’t judge a book by its cover.” 

What is the Human Library?

In 1993, a young and idealistic youth organisation called "Stop The Violence,"was self-initiated by five youngsters from Copenhagen after a mutual friend was stabbed. The brutal attack on their friend, who luckily survived, made the five youngsters decide to raise awareness and use peer group education to mobilize danish youngsters against violence. In a few years the organisation had 30.000 members all over the country.
The Human Library is a mobile library set up as a space where visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”--a group varied in age, sex and cultural background sure to enlighten.
The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a way of promoting tolerance and understanding.

Why Become A Reader?

How often do you get the chance to interact with someone who has a completely different story than your own? 

Transgender book with two female readers

Reading in the Human Library is unlike any kind of reading you've ever done. Becoming a reader gives you information  that can help you understand things and people better.

Readers at the counter in Budapest 2005

Read to learn

You read to gain knowledge and maybe even understanding of the other. In return, you can ask what you've always wanted to know. A session with a 'Living Book' can be a real eye opener, or just another day in the Library, it depends on the eyes that meets the book. 
Police Officer Helen with reader in London.

A unique opportunity

Becoming a reader is a unique opportunity for you to challenge your beliefs or face your fears in the form of another human being. 

Some of us tend to judge groups of people based on the actions of a few. Although I try not to believe everything I hear and read, there have been times when I've found myself judging others. The Human Library sounds like an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.