The Human Library based out of Denmark lets people check out “interactive books” for half an hour–but the words are coming from humans that volunteer to tell their tales.
Readers peruse the library catalog and select an experience to hear about–Child Of The Holocaust Survivors, The Gypsy Tale, Iraq War Veteran, and Orphanage Boy, are examples of story titles offered.
With library card in hand, readers are led to a discussion area to meet their book and hear the tale, cover to cover.
Started in 2000 by a Danish youth-based nonprofit, “Stop The Violence,” the Human Library was a project intended to start conversation and foster understanding between different types of people that would normally not interact with each other.
“The purpose is to challenge what we think we know about other members of our community,” reads the Human Library Facebook Page. “To challenge our stereotypes and prejudices in a positive framework, where difficult questions are accepted, expected and appreciated.”
The first Human Library event was hosted at the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. One of the largest summer festivals in Northern Europe, its theme focused on community activities to help stop growing levels of violence and bias in the area. Now the project has spread to over 50 countries across the world.
If you feel like you’ve got a bestseller inside you, check out the Human Library website to see if there are events happening near you–with no late fees involved.