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People on loan for social conversation in ‘Human Library’

The Picton branch library's Lyndsay Pearson poses as a 'human book'

The Picton branch library’s Lyndsay Pearson poses as a ‘human book’

Books will come alive like never before when the ‘Human Library’ opens this summer in the Picton branch library.

The Human Library, running July 8-9th and 15-16, is a unique, interactive event where patrons will be able to check out a human to engage in conversation about their specialty.

“It’s sort of like an in-person choose-your-own-adventure, meant to fill up your heart and your mind, challenging preconceptions and broadening your understanding of the full breadth of the human experience,” said Sarah Phillips, of Festival Players.

The Human Library concept was started by an organization called ‘Stop the Violence’ from Denmark. For 16 years now, and in more than 70 countries, the Human Library phenomenon has been taking communities on journeys they’ll never forget, one conversation at a time.

Phillips has put out a call for “people books” who will help to break down prejudice and strengthen community by sharing stories.

“You are a great prospect for a ‘book’ if you are someone who self-identifies as having experienced prejudice due to issues such as race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion, belief, line of work, lifestyle choices or other aspects of who you are.”

The ‘book’ titles, usually landing somewhere between provocative and descriptive, have included things like “PTSD”, “Cancer Survivor”, “Undertaker”, “Refugee”, “Ex-Con”, “Teenage Mother”, “Bipolar”, “Transgender” and many many more.

Those curious to find out more are encouraged you to visit the Human Library website (



Filed Under: Arts & CultureCOMING EVENTS

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  1. Theresa Durning says:

    I love this idea. How brave to let the world know how you’ve coped.

  2. Regular Josephine says:

    A wise man once told me “you see first what is in your eye.”

  3. Susan says:

    There is much that is positive. You just have to look, it’s easy to find.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    @ Marnie: How can you possibly claim that there is nothing “positive” in these individuals’ stories without talking to them?

  5. Marnie says:

    There’s nothing positive happening?

  6. Michael says:

    I think it is an absolute brilliant idea that is focussing on current issues within our society. Congratulations Picton Library on this unique approach.

  7. Marnie says:

    Are all the ‘books’ in the Human Library seem to be about prejudice and negativity? Surely there must be lots of positive-themed books out there too. How about including some upbeat stories.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    What a wonderful idea and a way for people to learn. A big thank you to those responsible for organizing this event! I am looking forward to it.

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