Virtual Living Library Event Scheduled for April 7

The Syracuse University Libraries will host its first virtual Living Library event on Wednesday, April 7 from noon to 5 p.m. on Zoom. During this event, “living books” representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds and life experiences will share their stories in conversation with individual “readers.” The Syracuse University Living Library, now in its seventh year, is an event that encourages people from different backgrounds to talk with and learn from each other in a safe and supportive environment. This event takes place during National Library Week.

Living books—SU faculty, staff, and students from a variety of campus departments and programs as well as others from the local community—will engage in one-on-one conversations for 20 minutes at a time. Living books will share their experience on a variety of topics, including perseverance, creative expression, disability, LGBTQ identities, health advocacy, and Zen practice. For more information, visit our Living Library guide. This year’s book titles include:

  • Braving Creatively and Unapologetically: How I Broke the Silence of Shame
  • Disability, Queerness, and Popular Culture
  • Disability in Comic Books and Popular Culture: “Cripping” the Comic Con
  • Diversity in Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Infant and Women’s Health Issues
  • Kindness as a Human Super Power
  • Memoir of the First Liberians “Return to Africa”
  • Neuroqueer Culture
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go
  • Searching for Wonder: How a Naturalist Perceives the World
  • Serving in the Military with ADHD
  • Zen Practice, Here and Now

The Living Library is open to the campus community. Participants can reserve living books in advance for a specific time by completing the sign-up form by April 5. If you have difficulties using this form or wish to sign up via e-mail, please contact askasowi@syr.edu or tanantac@syr.edu. To request accommodations, please contact us by March 31.

The event is offered in partnership with the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), Disability Cultural Center, Hendricks Chapel, Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) at the School of Information Studies, Library and Information Science Program at the School of Information Studies, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, Renée Crown University Honors Program, South Asia Center of Syracuse University, and Syracuse University Catholic Center.

This event is one of several Living Library events being planned throughout the region, with support from the Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC)


Volunteers Needed for Virtual Living Library Event

Syracuse University Libraries will host its annual Living Library event during National Library Week on Wednesday, April 7 from noon to 5 p.m. via Zoom. Participants will have the opportunity to talk to “living books”—volunteers from the broader Syracuse University community representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. Living books engage in 20-minute conversations with patrons in one-on-one or small group settings. The Libraries look forward to offering its seventh Living Library this year — its first one in a virtual environment.

Event organizers are currently seeking Syracuse University faculty, staff, and students to volunteer as living books. Applications are being accepted through March 5 via an online application form.

“Due to COVID-19, we had to cancel our Living Library event last year, but we’re so pleased that Library staff have arranged to offer it virtually this year. Now more than ever, encouraging oral storytelling is so important for our society. It enables us to learn about the different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives of our community members,” said Dean David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of the Syracuse University Libraries. “It promotes empathy and inclusion in a safe and supportive environment. It is valuable and rewarding for both those who share their stories, and for their audience who listens and learns. Every person has a story to tell and insights to share.”

Popular topics from previous years have included Native American, Chinese, Indian, Nigerian, and Middle Eastern cultures; disability, queer, and biracial identities; military life; mental health issues; immigrant experiences; and experiencing homelessness. This event is part of the CNY Living Library, supported by the Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC).


Volunteers Needed for SU Libraries’ Living Library Event

UPDATED 3/16/20: EVENT IS POSTPONED

Syracuse University Libraries will host its annual Living Library event on Thursday, April 2 from noon to 5 p.m. in Bird Library. Patrons will have the opportunity to talk to “living books”—volunteers from the broader Syracuse University community representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. Living books engage in 20-minute conversations with patrons in one-on-one or small group settings.

Event organizers are currently seeking Syracuse University faculty, staff, and students to volunteer as living books. Applications are being accepted through March 6 via an online application form.

“This is a great opportunity to encourage the tradition of oral-storytelling,” said Dean David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of the Syracuse University Libraries. “It also encourages learning different perspectives from our peers, promoting empathy and inclusion in a safe and supportive environment. In the past, our volunteers and patrons have described their conversations as rewarding, insightful and important.”

Popular topics from previous years have included Native American, Chinese, Indian, Nigerian, and Middle Eastern cultures; disability, queer, and biracial identities; military life; mental health issues; immigrant experiences; and experiencing homelessness. This is one of several Living Library events offered throughout the region, with support from the Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC).