What is a Human Library?

In 2010 WOMAD hosted their first Human Library, where you can borrow Living Books, and we are doing it again in 2011 from July 29th to 31st. If you’d like to be a Living Book please sign-up here – http://svy.mk/HLWOMAD

The Human Library is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. The Human Library is set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background.

The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding. It is a “keep it simple”, “no-nonsense” contribution to social cohesion in multicultural societies.

We were located in the Arboretum by the Radio 3 stage and had a selection of 42 Living Books available over the three days of the festival. You can see a list of the books available and links to their book descriptions HERE. People simply came by, spoke to a Librarian, read the catalogue of available books & decided who to take out for a chat & either took them into our lovely double yurt (thanks Matt!) or went & sat in the shade outside. You can see pictures in the gallery & get a feel for the atmosphere on the video page.

For more information about Human Libraries visit www.humanlibrary.org & see what is a Living Book? and Take out your Prejudices. We are doing it again in 2011 from 29th to 31st July.


About Katy Duke

Human Books organiser & project manager
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One Response to What is a Human Library?

  1. Hi there

    Your Human Library looks to have been brilliant, I wish ours had been in a tent! Around the same time as yours we piloted a Human Library in Dudley. Ours was in a library, on a hot sunny day, so an outdoor event would have been nice! We’ve just posted resources on our website for people who are thinking of running a human library. We also added a link to this WOMAD site. You can see our resources at http://www.dosti.org.uk/human-library.


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