Thursday, April 28, 2016

Diversity Scholars organize "human library"

UK Libraries Undergraduate Diversity Scholars Alecia Johnson and Gabe Tomlin initiated and organized a “Human Library” event held in William T. Young Library on Wednesday April 20, 2016.  Sponsored by the Diversity Task Force, the Human Library is designed to "to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers.  A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. "

The Human Library in-progress
Gabe and Alecia enlisted 25 volunteer human "books" with a variety of titles who could be "checked out" to "readers" for a half-hour period of conversation.  Participants identified themselves with descriptive phrases, including “International Student,” “Biracial,” “First Generation,” “Student Veteran,” “Psychonaut,” “UK Police Officer,” “Bipolar Disorder,” “LGBTQ Expression,” and “Latino Student.”  Readers who selected a “human book” heard the “book’s” story, then asked questions and conversed during the half-hour check-out period. 

Participating readers included UK students, staff, faculty, and administrators. At one point in the afternoon all of the human books were checked out. Books and readers alike were enthusiastic about the event and encouraged more sessions in the future.

For more information about the international Human Library Organization see  

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