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Human Library

The Human Library is returning for Spring 2018

Information for Human Books

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General Information for Human Books

What can I expect during my “loan” time? 

  • Behave respectfully towards the readers and other books, even if your own opinions, beliefs or view of life are not the same.  The Human Library is based on mutual respect.

  • Be yourself; open and honest.Do not play a role or overdramatize; the most important thing is just to be you.

  • Check your watch: you have a limited amount of time together. Remember you will spend 20 minutes with each reader/group of readers.

  • Have the ability to communicate with a diversity of different readers.

  • Remain calm and show understanding, while expressing your disagreement where necessary.

  • If questions become too intimate, feel free to say that you do not want to answer.Try to redirect the conversation towards more neutral topics.

  • During breaks feel free to discuss your experiences of being a book with other books.

  • Prepare yourself for your role of being a Book –

    • Be ready to share your reflected personal experience.

    • Be prepared to repeat yourself again and again, as different readers might pose the same question.

      • Try to treat your reader as if they are the first person you are giving this information to, even if it is the 3rd or 4th time today.

About Your Readers

  • The discussions between a Book and a reader are, in principle, confidential. If you quote other readers, do not mention their names.

  • You should adjust yourself to the fact that your reader may have borrowed you only because they were interested in your Book title in general.

    • This might give you the feeling that your life and personality are being simplified, but this is normal in the Human Library context.

  • Every reader is different, and the reasons for choosing specifically your Book can vary greatly.

    • A good question to keep the discussion going is, “Why did you choose me to check out?”This will give you an idea of the reader's interests.

  • In general, the readers of the Human Library are prepared to talk, listen and learn. Their questions are not always very straightforward, so it is important to help them clarify their thoughts and make their point clear.

  • Find out some basic information about the readers by asking questions if the conversation stalls –

    • Have they met someone like you before?

    • Have they had good or bad experiences with a person like you?

    • These questions might make it easier for you to decide what kind of information they might find interesting.

  • If you feel uneasy or disrespected by a reader, you have the right to end the discussion.

  • Your readers may be curious or looking for personal advice. Remember that you can share your own experiences of solving problems or tackling difficult situations, but be careful in giving advice.

Thank you for volunteering to share your experiences. 

We are honored to have you in our “collection.


South Campus

Event Information for Human Books

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

General Information

  • When you arrive at the South Campus library (Building 5 – Rm 5201), you will check in at the Circulation desk and be directed to your orientation area.  At that time, you will be assigned a designated “reading” area. 
    • This will remain your assigned area for the day.  Signage will indicate that this is your assigned area.
  • Staff and volunteers will be available to assist with your requests throughout the day.
  • The orientation will help to clarify questions that may have arisen.
  • After your last reader, please complete the survey found in your folder.
  • At 1:00pm all “reading” will stop and lunch will be served.

Schedule for 2018

8:30-8:45AM – Arrival and short Orientation

9:00AM  – Guest TheArthur Duncan (author of Felon Attorney)

10:00 – 10:25AM  – Check out 1

10:30 – 10:55 AM – Check out 2

11:00 – 11:25 AM – Check out 3

11:30 – 11:55 PM – Checkout 4

12:00 – 12:25 PM – Check out 5

12:30 – 12:55 PM – Check out 6

**Immediately following last reading – Surveys

1pm – Lunch & Thank You’s!


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North Campus

Event Information for Human Books

Thursday, April 26, 2018


General Information

  • When you arrive at the Dry Memorial Library, you will check in at Room D114. Please arrive no later than 9:30 am.
  • After a welcome reception and brief orientation, you will be escorted your designated “reading” area. 
  • Staff will be available to assist with your requests throughout the day.
  • Each reading session will last for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a 10 minute break.
  • Paws for Love "readers" will be limited to the start of the session and limited number of students as to not overwhelm the dogs.
  • "Readers" will have a library card to be stamped at the end of the session.
  • "Books" have a choice of one-on-one sessions with students or student walk-ups during the session.
  • After your last reader, you will meet up again for a quick survey about your experience as a reader.

Book Tips

  • While we will have coffee and light refreshments, you may wish to bring a snack, beverage or refillable water bottle.
  • Paws for Love volunteers should bring disposable bags for their dogs. A water dish will br provided, but you are welcome to bring your own bowl, as well as, toys, blankets or treats for your dog.
  • The temperature in the library fluctuates, you may wish to dress in layers as it tends to be cool in the library.


Event Schedule

9:30 – 9:50 AM – Orientation & Reception

10:00 – 10:20 AM – Session 1


10:30 – 10:50 AM – Session 2


11:00 – 11:20 AM –Session 3


11:30 – 11:50 AM – Session 4


12:00 – 12:20 PM – Session 5


12:30 – 12:50 PM – Session 6


12:50 – 1ish PM – Survey & Closing


Information for Human Books (Prinatble)

Want to print this information?  Download these info sheets here!

call the library: City Library North Library South Library
716.851.1074 716.851.1273 716.851.1772