For the first time ever, TWU will be hosting a Human Library on April 23 at the Blagg-Huey Library from 12 to 5 pm. According to the Human Library website, the organization is “A Worldwide Movement for Social Change” that loans out Living Books – real people who share their stories with the people who come to hear them.
The idea of a Human Library, the organization’s website said, was developed in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000 as a project for the Roskilde Festival, one of the largest music festivals in Europe, after the festival director decided to implement activities that would foster non-violence and “encourage dialogue” between festival visitors. When over 1000 people participated, everyone involved was stunned: it was a success.
According to Health Sciences Librarian Flora Ligeti, “Living Books are people representing groups that often face prejudice, stereotyping, or racism in society. The Books can represent different minorities based on culture, religion, belief, ideology, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or appearance. The Books can also represent occupations or hobbies that face prejudice or people facing prejudice for any other reason.” The diversity is meant to promote compassion, empathy, and understanding between Living Books and their Readers.
Ligeti is excited for TWU’s first year hosting a Human Library. She explained that UNT is now on their 6th year hosting, and she hopes that TWU will see the same kind of success. “When I asked what their most well-read book has been, [UNT] told me that the student readers loved to check out the campus police – the students had big questions about gun violence, but also asked where their parking ticket money went.” Ligeti laughed.
The exciting news? You can volunteer to be a Book or come loan a Book for a 20-minute conversation during this special event. For more information and to register as a Book or to volunteer for the event, please contact: Reference@twu.edu or Flora Ligeti Fligeti@twu.edu (214-689-6776).
The deadline is March 10, so quick registration is encouraged. To register, please inform Ligeti with your name, phone number, email address, age, physical address, and any food allergies or other special needs in addition to your book title, and whether you are new or experienced. Otherwise, mark your calendar for April 23 – what Living Book will you pick?