The Syracuse University Libraries, in partnership with the School of Information Studies and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, will host its first Human Library on Wednesday, April 9, from 3 – 6 p.m. in Bird Library. In the Human Library, the books you sign out are real people from the SU campus community representing a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, areas of expertise, and life experiences. The event is intended to encourage diversity and challenge stereotypes and prejudices.
A human library enables participants to engage in conversation with people they may not normally encounter and encourages people from different backgrounds to talk with and learn from each other. Human books will share their stories in one-on-one or small group conversations for 20 minutes at a time. Preregistration is not required, but participants can reserve a book for specific times at: http://researchguides.library.syr.edu/humanlibrary/reserve.
The human books represent a range of cultures including Native American, Asian American, African American, Latina, Indian, and Romanian. Many will share stories of empowerment, self-discovery, and overcoming obstacles to find success and happiness.
Syracuse University’s human library event is part of a regional Human Library Program taking place during April (the month in which National Library Week is celebrated) with support from the Central NY Library Resources Council. The first known Human Library program was held in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark (see http://www.humanlibrary.org). Since then, similar events have been organized in libraries, schools and other institutions around the world.
For more information, see http://researchguides.library.syr.edu/humanlibrary.