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Human Library

The Human Library is returning for Spring 2018

Information for Human Library Readers

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Information for Human Library Readers

We would like this to be a positive, exciting and valuable experience for both you and the human books. The human books available for you to “check out” are volunteers are very excited about being “borrowed” by you.   We hope that you are excited to be checking them out.



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

  • Please arrive a few minutes earlier than your scheduled time. If you arrive late we cannot guarantee that your spot will still be available.

  • Please turn off cell phones.

  • The human books are here to voluntarily share their own experiences. They cannot offer advice.

  • The human books welcome your questions.

  • Please be respectful of the books

  • If you feel uncomfortable during a conversation with a human book, you can:

    • Steer the conversation back to a more comfortable discussion

    • Ask for assistance from staff

    • End the conversation & inform staff

  • Do not hesitate to ask library staff for assistance at any time.



    Libraries all over the world have been offering the award-winning Human Library program to their public. Readers have participated in the program in various ways. They have done so to -

  • Stepped outside their comfort zone and challenged themselves by talking to a human book whose experiences or beliefs are different from their own

  • Talk to a book

    • That they can relate to

    • Out of curiosity

  • To step into someone else’s shoes

  • To learn more about a topic or the book’s experience



  • Why did you volunteer to be a book?

  • Do you know others who share your experience?

  • If you could change the circumstances of your life, would you?

How to Cite a Human Book


APA 6th Style:

No personal communication is included in your reference list; instead, parenthetically cite the communicator's name, the phrase "personal communication," and the date of the communication in your main text only.


(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).

A. P. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2002).


MLA 8th Style:

Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview.

Example:  Smith, Jane. Personal interview. 19 May 2014.


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Citation provided by Purdue OWL

Information for Human Library Readers

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