Imagine walking into a library filled with breathing, walking, crying, laughing, blinking, thinking, – even speaking— books! Imagine being able to ask questions and having deep conversations about your favorite book or character with someone who can understand exactly how you feel about a subject. Sounds something like living or human libraries, isn’t it?
This has become true of a library that does not just stack books but also offers accompanying people to have a heart-to-heart. These libraries are popularly called Human Libraries where you can borrow people just like you borrow books, talk all day long and share stories and experiences!
The Human Libraries offer a secure atmosphere for people to connect in conversation within a frame of respect, as well as with the consent to reverently ask questions in addition to sharing each other’s experiences. It is a worldwide faction that endorses a comprehensive way to confront chauvinism via social contact. The exchange of ideas that the Human Library allows for, has the potential to defy injustice, shame, and favoritism.
In fact, human libraries practice, and celebrate the variety and positive disparity of our society, increase consciousness of many diverse causes’ people may experience barring, and take optimistic action to tackle a number of issues that may otherwise lead to harassment, cruelty and hate crime.
The Human Library is attempting to create an optimistic framework for discussions that can defy typecasts and prejudices via dialogue. It is a place where live people are on loan to the readers; where difficult questions are not only answered but also appreciated.
How did this human library idea go viral?
Based on the reports from the Toronto Star, the idea started thus:
After the stabbing of a young man, a few of his friends created a pacifist youth group.
Hate rises from a chilly roost. Hate rises from distant cold hearts, lack of empathy and misunderstandings. They knew that if this hate could be coaxed into warmth, it might condense. Hence, the biggest summer festival of the country was planned. This group set up a place invited 75 volunteers to go to the fair and asked them to have chats or ‘reads’ with the interested guests.
The catchphrase was ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover.’ One placard read: “Borrow a person you think you would not like. We have a wide selection of unpopular stereotypes, everything from gays to hip-hoppers to immigrants.”
This idea thus went viral. Now, you can find human libraries in almost 40 countries which include China, Brazil, and Hungary. The Lismore city in Australia has made this into a monthly event.
In today’s time, people in this world are detached more than ever.
People in this world are increasingly becoming detached due to various reasons. The growth of technology and social media makes us anti-social in the real world. The need for human libraries is felt now more than ever. Too much of discrimination based on color, creed, race and culture has resulted in fear and crimes. Now is the right time for such libraries to teach people to not judge a book by its cover.