(PCM) Believe it is not as creepy as the title would suggest! The Human Library Project is actually all about celebrating diversity and helping us gain a better and more well-rounded understanding of the people around us, by learning and freely asking questions without any fear of judgement.
The project began in Denmark and has since branched out to areas all over the world. It allows participants to check out an “interactive book” for a half hour at a time, however these “interactive books” are actually living breathing human volunteers who have agreed to share their stories with others.
Human Library participants are given a library catalog which features the various types of individuals they can meet with to learn about their experiences, stories and of course ask them any questions they may have been afraid to ask or are curious to know. Some examples of Human Library volunteers include someone who is homeless, a soldier suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), a person who was molested, a naturist, someone with extreme body modification, a person in a polyamorous relationship, someone who is Muslim, someone suffering from bi-polar disorder, a refugee, and someone who is HIV positive to name just a few.
The stories and experiences shared by these individuals can provide a wealth of knowledge and understanding and can certainly show us that there is much more to these individuals (and all of us as human beings) than what initially meets the eye. The Human Library project teaches us to never judge a book by its’ cover and is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.
We think this project is a wonderful idea and certainly would love to see more and more Human Library events taking place throughout the world. It is refreshing to see people actually talking to one another and finding a way to put their differences aside and gain a better understanding of our fellow man.