Human Library

Ask any question you want, don’t be shy! The Human Library™ offers “Human Books” on loan, to share their experiences and challenge prejudicial ideas and discrimination.

Rules for Readers of the Human Library

Welcome to the Human Library, a place where people are on loan as books. To get started with borrowing our human books, please see the Human Librarian at the counter and get your free library card.

Human Library card The card is your personal proof that you have challenged your prejudices and stereotypes at the Human Library. The card can also help you remember when you need to bring back the book to the front desk.

The books All of our books are volunteers. They come from many different backgrounds but share a similar motivation: to answer questions and share experiences in order to counter discrimination, prejudice and stigma. Our books represent groups in the community that are frequently subjected to stigma based on disability, religion, ethnicity, occupation, social status or other experiences or identities.

Access and Equity Librarians These librarians are there to help you identify which book title is the most relevant for you. Try to find  a  book with a title about which you might have stereotypes. Look for the titles at the front desk.

Duration of loans The living book should be returned to the front desk of the library no later than 30 minutes after the start of the loan. Please keep the deadline. You can only borrow one book at a time. Loans can only be extended with the agreement of both your book and the librarian at the counter.

Where to go? We have prepared a reading room for you to enjoy your talk. If your book agrees, you can go to another section of the library.

How to get the conversation going? You can always start by sharing a little about yourself and why you found this title interesting. Please feel free to ask any question you would like about your books topic. Do not be shy. Our books have agreed to tell their stories and help you see beyond the stereotypes that are perpetuated in our society.

Happy reading and thank you for participating in this event! The Human Library Organization


Human Library: Born Again Boxer

I’m an example of someone who is read based on appearance. People probably wouldn’t guess the love and joy I have in my heart because of a tough and tattooed exterior.

My message: How I overcame gang life.

Books on the Library Shelves

Human Library @ the Shasta College Library

The Human Library is an event originally developed in Copenhagen that is designed to build a positive opportunity for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.  Real people, most are our students and staff, are on loan to readers for a 15-30 minute period.   Our human books are volunteers; difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered.  You and your students are encouraged to come, choose a book that might challenge a stereotype you have or a perspective you’d like to understand more, and spend some time in conversation. Come to the library, Wednesday, October 25th between 1 pm  and 5 pm and we’ll connect you with a book.

DVDs in the Library