Kutztown University will host its inaugural Human Library on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Rohrbach Library. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers. A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. Readers can check out a book for 20 minutes to “read” and then they are returned to the checkout counter.
The event is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.
The Human Library or “Menneskebiblioteket” as it is called in Danish, was developed in Copenhagen in the spring of 2000 as a project for Roskilde Festival by Ronni Abergel and his brother Dany and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen.
The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured more than 50 different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes. More than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organizers and readers stunned at the impact of the Human Library.
This is the first year Kutztown University has participated in the project. Planning started last March, organized by the Rohrbach Library staff and the office of Inclusion and Outreach, with support from the Commission on Human Diversity. This first Human Library day will have 12 books which include students, staff, faculty, and community members. Topics of the human books available include Young Immigrant; Black Male Expected to Fail; High Functioning Autistic; Faith-Based Scientist; Muslim Woman; Out and Proud Gay Man; Abuse Survivor; Bi-Polar; Transgender; Bi-polar; Humanist; and former Drug Addict.
For more information on the Human Library visit humanlibrary.org.