- A unique library allows people to “borrow humans” instead of books.
- The goal of the Human Library organization is to inform people about issues that are often misunderstood or stigmatized.
- For instance, the library allows people to talk to people with ADHD or vision problems to get a more personalized account.
Have you heard of the Human Library? In this special library, you can “borrow” a person instead of a book. By spending 30 minutes talking to the person, you get to know their insight or first-hand accounts on certain issues that can be difficult to tackle in written text.
“We publish people like open books on a given topic,” the Human Library organization explained. “Our readers ask questions and get answers from their ‘book.'”
The organization aims to open the discussion on issues that “are often difficult, challenging and stigmatizing.”
They help people shed their misconceptions or prejudices against others they don’t normally meet or talk to, such as people dealing with trauma, or people on the autism spectrum.
Danish human rights activist and journalist Ronni Abergel was inspired to start the organization after the idea of non-violence activism was opened up to him.
A friend of his, whom he describes as a “troubled youth,” had survived a stabbing in Copenhagen. He thought about how a simple conversation could enlighten people about others’ life experiences.
Ronni hoped that a “human library” could bring people together peacefully in the search for knowledge, not unlike a traditional library.
In 2000, the first Human Library was launched at the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. It was open for four days, with each day having eight hours’ worth of conversations. Over 1,000 people participated!
Ronni hosted the next Human Library in Oslo, Norway, by Abergel for the Nordic Minister Councils’ youth assembly.
The first permanent Human Library was then established in 2006 in Lismore, Australia.
Through the years, the project grew to have more partners in more than 80 countries!
While a few more permanent Human Libraries have been established in different locations, most happen as events.
Source: sunny skyz