The Human Library is a concept created by Ronni Abergel, Dany Abergel, Christoffer Erichsen and Asma Mouna of the Danish youth organisation Stop The Violence in 2000 and it is now operational on five continents. It is a library of human beings, individuals, that each represent a group in the community that are somehow exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination.
The Human Library™ aims to establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered by the Human Book on loan. It helps build understanding for diversity by providing a framework for real conversations about important issues. Open and honest conversations that can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community. Real people in real conversations within a framework setup to help facilitate and accommodate the process. Because this is an innovative approach to challenging stigma, stereotypes and prejudices through a non confrontational and friendly conversation. To give a voice to groups in the community that are stigmatized and to help bring about platforms that support a greater understanding of diversity and social cohesion.
Towson University's Albert S. Cook Library and Center for Student Diversity join a long and growing list of organizations interested in promoting understanding and compassion between people where prejudice and stereotyping have created misunderstanding and division.
Text adapted with permission from: Ronni Abergel et al., "Human Library FAQ 2016." humanlibrary.org