Purdue holds annual Human Library

The Human Library was originally launched in Denmark in 2000. It has since grown to have partners in more than 70 countries across the world.

Posted: Apr 1, 2019 5:29 PM
Updated: Apr 1, 2019 5:39 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The pages of books came to life today at Purdue's annual Human Library. Volunteers acted as "books" who shared life stories to readers.

Readers were able to check out books and engage in 20 to 30-minute dialogues. Volunteers did not come prepared with a speech. Rather, they were open to conversation.

The event promotes respectful dialogue to reduce biases while encouraging understanding. It also allows readers to share perspectives with others. 

Cassia Dean is the Outreach Engagement Director of the Office of Vice Provost of Student Life. She said visitors are offered an array of topics and backgrounds they can read about.

"Most of the people here have story titles that are specific to maybe a certain type of prejudice or stigma or stereotype that goes along with what their book title would be,” said Dean.

Dean added the event offers readers a new way to learn about topics they might not get a normal chance to learn about.

"It's just a space to kind of have safe conversation with that person. You can ask them questions that maybe would typically be uncomfortable to ask someone,” she said.

The Human Library was originally launched in Denmark in 2000. It has since grown to have partners in more than 70 countries across the world.

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