Projects

Human Library

Where books are people and reading them involves a conversation.

1, 3 – 5 November 2011

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  • At the Human Library

Books in our Human Library come from all walks of life, including people whose life experiences have been misunderstood or misinterpreted in popular media and culture.

Human Library aims to challenge stereotypes and to confront stigma and discrimination in all forms.

Human Library works just like a normal library – open to all, readers choose from a catalogue and borrow a Book for a limited period of time, returning it back for others to share. The twist is that the ‘Books’ are people and that ‘reading’ them involves a conversation.

Human Library began in Copenhagen in 2000, from an invitation to the youth group Stop The Violence by Roskilde Festival, to challenge violence at this huge summer festival. There, the Human Library was born and now it takes place all over the world.

An open source style event, Wunderbar has hosted two Human Library events in the North East, in 2011 and 2013 and facilitated one in Bristol, 2013.

We’ve been gathering feedback from all our events – check out what our Bristol book “I’m not deaf, I’m ignoring you… oh no wait, I am deaf,” aka Donna Williams, wrote about the experience on her blog

And there are so many book reviews we have just chosen a few snippets to share. 

Extracts from Human Library Book Reviews, 2011

“A book has never before asked me why I’m reading it… but this seems like such an important question that is often forgotten…”

            – A reader of “The Dragon and the Monkey”.

“A story of hope. A shared experience between the reader and Human Book. The book was open with a kind and gentle nature. The reader felt relaxed in the book’s presence.   The Human Book has given me a unique perspective on the experience of Bipolar Disorder. Much more informative than written books I have read on the subject, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.”

          – A reader of “The Ups and Downs and Ups and Downs and Ups and Downs: A Bi Polar Life”.

 “Very inspiring to hear from someone really taking their life into their own hands; turning bad fortune into good, and this rippling out into other’s good fortune as a result. Thank you!”

            – A reader of “Unemployment and Accidental Happiness”. 

“An inspiring story which resonate with some of my own experiences and I’m sure will quickly begin to influence my own perspectives on work/lifestyle/priorities and identity.”

            – A reader of “Unemployment and Accidental Happiness”.

“This book is a wonderful read. More stories between the lines than on the page. The plain tale told with few frills contains a timeless story of courage, endurance and good humour in the face of life’s stinging blows. 9/10. Don’t miss it!”

             – A reader of “New Tricks for an Old Dog”.

“I was surprised by the liveliness of the book and feet on the ground attitude spiced up with a hint of ambition and a sense of humour. Had an interesting chat about writing, films, creation process and other stuff… try it.”

            – A reader of “New Tricks for an Old Dog”.

“A life affirming story of a high school drop out. Proof that education is about the whole person and the way they meet the world. Lovely, smiley cover too…”

            – A reader of “The Truth About Youth”.

“This book was about acceptance of self and others. It was about challenging oneself, determination and humility. It was a privilege to read this book and I would recommend it to everyone.”

             – A reader of “Invisible Disability”.

“This was a lovely book about what it is to have a cultural identity, of how others may judge according to their limited understanding (often loaded with stereotypes)… Favourite quote (on East Berlin) “It’s a bit like Ashington.” ”

             – A reader of “German and Proud”.