A Human Library is an event that aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. Individuals volunteer as human ‘books’ and participants in the event can ‘read’ the book- meaning they would have a one on one conversation with the volunteer and share in a dialogue about that individual’s experience. ‘Books’ are volunteers from all walks of life who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability and other aspects of their life. The Human Library provides the opportunity for the community to share and understand the experiences of others in their community.
There are a lot of things the Chicago community can gain from this event. Participants can gain the understanding that dialogue between people can work to break the barriers that separate us. Additionally, participants will walk away with the knowledge that although we all fit into different groups and categories, that each of us is so much more than one identity, one group. We are all complex and unique human beings, but we have so much more in common than we may think, and fewer differences than we know.
The Human Library is an international movement that started in Denmark in the year 2000 and has since made its way through over 27 countries. This year, it was held at Chicago’s 2014 Printers Row Lit Fest. The Human Library Chicago is currently searching for other places to host Human Library events.
Book titles offered at the 2014 Printers Row event can be found below. The Human Library Chicago is always seeking new ‘book’ titles to add to its ‘shelves.’ Please fill out our contact form if you are interested in volunteering as a ‘book.’