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Albert S. Cook Library

Human Library at Towson University

An annual event co-sponsored by the Albert S. Cook Library and Center for Student Diversity, bringing together the Towson campus community to challenge stereotypes through respectful conversations.

Upcoming events

University Union, Room 306

October 16th and 17th, 2018

Noon - 4 PM

How can you be a Human Book?

We're getting ready for our Fall 2019 Human Library at Towson University. If you're interested in participating as a volunteer, book, or reader, please share your information using this form:

Keep an eye on this page for further information on future Human Library events. Earn community service hours and volunteer to be a Human Book, contact Clare Kuntz Balcer with any questions.


Human Library Participants with Titles

Rules for Readers

The books

All of our books are volunteers. They come from many different backgrounds but all share the same motivation. To help bring about understanding, answer questions, and share their experiences in order to counter discrimination, prejudice and stigma. The books represent groups in the community that are frequently subjected to stigma based on disability, religion, ethnicity, occupation, social status, or sexual conviction.

The librarians

Librarians are there to help you in any way they can. They will first and foremost help you identify which book title is the most relevant for you to meet and talk with. It is your choice but through your chat with the librarians we can help ensure a good match is found. The librarians have a list of all the titles we carry on our bookshelf. Once you have selected a book your librarian will bring it to you and make the introductions.

Duration of loans

The human book should be returned to the Human Library no later than 30 minutes after the start of the loan. Books should be borrowed one at a time. Loans can be extended if the human book agrees (they may want to take a break!); just check back at the registration desk to be sure someone else isn't waiting. Your book must be handed back to us in the same condition it was in when given to you.

It is the privilege of both parties that they can end the conversation at any point they may wish.

Where to go?

We have prepared a reading room for you to enjoy your talk with your book. You are also encouraged to go for a walk around the building if your book agrees. Please let the registration desk know where you plan to go so we can locate you if a new person wants to join your group. You are not allowed to take the book home!

How to get the conversation going?

You can always start by sharing a little about yourself and why you found this title interesting. Please remember to feel absolutely free to ask any question you would like about your books topic. Do not be shy. Do respect your book.


Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover!