I learned about the most fascinating new kind of library today. At first I read an article about a “human library” in which one can check out humans (books) who fit a particular stereotype that the library patron would like to learn more about. The goal is to help people overcome prejudices. So I searched for the actual human libray website, but had no luck, until I ran a new search and found that it’s really called a “Living Library.” Here’s how the website describes it:
The Living Library is an innovative project designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and thereby encourage integration. The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach. In it’s initial form the Living Library is a mobile library set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors to the Living Library are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background. The Living Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding. It is a “keep it simple”, “no-nonsense” contribution to social cohesion in multicultural societies.