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Human Library® at Lehman College

The Human Library brings together the Lehman College Community to enhance experiences of diversity and inclusion. Students share their own stories of inspiration and resilience to break down barriers of stigma, bias, and misunderstanding.

The Human Library - Overview

People Standing Next to Each Other on a Book Shelf 

“How are we to understand each other, if we do not have the opportunity to talk to each other?”  

Ronni Abergel, Inventor of the Human Library®

 

THE HUMAN LIBRARY®

  • The Human Library®, http://humanlibrary.org/, is a concept and global movement for social change developed by Ronni Abergel, Dany Abergel, and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen, which began in Denmark in 2000.
  • It is a library of human beings, each representing a group in the community exposed to stigma or discrimination. It is designed to build a positive framework to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through non-confrontational dialogue.
  • The Human Library® is a place where real people are on loan to readers and where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. The Human Library® encourages patrons to become Readers, by metaphorically “checking out” a Human Book for a 30-minute loan – formulating a conversation where patrons can ask questions they normally would not feel comfortable posing, and where Human Books can respond with their unique experiences.

HUMAN LIBRARY® at LEHMAN COLLEGE                                                                                      

  • The Human Library® provides a platform that gives voice to individuals to break down assumptions and bias that can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community. Lehman College provides a safe space and benefits from these engaging conversations which can shape new understandings and perceptions.

HUMAN BOOKS                                                                                                                    

  • Human Books volunteer to challenge and break down barriers through honest and respectful dialogue. Their stories represent a range of backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Lehman College students, faculty, and staff are welcome to volunteer as Books.

BOOK BENEFITS                                                                                                                              

  • Human Books provide fresh perspectives, raise awareness of issues, and honor diversity. They help build understanding through conversation and engagement, and inspire others with their true stories of resilience.
  • Human Books receive a Letter of Participation and a Human Library® Digital Badge from Lehman College, https://lehman.credly.com/view-credit/137870

REGISTER TO BE A BOOK                                                                                                    

BOOK TITLES AND SUMMARY

  • Create a book title and summary that captures your experience so Readers know what your book will be about.
  • Topics are open and may include coping with abuse, addiction, college life, a disability, griefillness, loss, discussing your identity, culture, religion, family, language, experiences of discrimination, prejudice or stigma you would like to share.

BOOK ORIENTATION

  • The Human Library® coordinator at Lehman College will contact registrants and set up an orientation to describe the process of being a book

STEPS FOR READERS

  • Students, faculty and staff are welcome to be Readers at the Human Library® and check-out books for 30 minutes.

THE CONVERSATION

  • Human Books have the right to tell their story.
  • Readers have the right to ask questions.
  • Both have the right to privacy and be treated respectfully.

CLASS ASSIGNMENTS AND PRIVACY 

  • Please respect the privacy of all Human Books. If you decide to write about the Human Library® at Lehman College please refrain from using any personal names or specific places discussed.

Human Library - Hammersmith College