Our first Human Library was a success!Posted: June 7, 2017
Nathan campus library hosted our very first Human Library event on Wednesday 24 May 2017 and it was a huge success!
Human Library is a worldwide movement promoting equity and diversity. It is about providing a safe space and building a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.
People get labelled, it is about taking those labels, tearing them apart and hearing the story behind the person. It is about having open and honest conversations that can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community.
We provided 20 Human Books to borrow, all with different ‘labels’, from Activist and Adopted to Muslim and Refugee. Readers were able to borrow a book for a 15-minute slot. They asked questions, and listened, recognising that the Human Book is not just a label, but they had a story to tell. They are so much more.
We hoped to provide a space to enable social and cultural connection between people, while recognising our differences.
We recognise that no ‘book’ ever has a single story, and our identities are complex. We do not want to ‘interpret’ our books: we want our ‘human books’ to ‘speak for themselves’, and to tell their own stories.
Staff and students came to borrow a ‘human book’ and went away feeling empowered through conversation, with the desire to continue to confront stereotypes and discrimination.
One of our books said: ‘I got to meet interesting people who also had interesting stories. I got to dispel a few myths and provide a few insights. My favourite part was interacting with my Readers – their questions were genuine, honest and engaging’.
Our Human Library event is over for this trimester, but we want you to continue to share your stories with each other: we believe that conversations can help spark social change!