An eclectic and thought-provoking collection of more than 50 “Human Books” will provide the East Bay with a unique reading experience at Roger Williams University on Sunday, March 30th. The first statewide Human Library event took place at Rochambeau Library in Providence last year; now a larger consortium of Rhode Island libraries and sponsoring organizations has come together to produce another highly original and perhaps life-changing library experience for the people of Rhode Island.
Modeled on a traditional library, a human library consists of “human books,” real people who have volunteered to tell their personal stories and to answer questions about life experiences. Readers are invited to browse a catalog and check out a book for a 15-minute, one-on-one conversation, during which they can learn about their subject and ask questions in a safe, respectful setting.
Recalling the old adage, “Never Judge a Book by its Cover,” human libraries strive to promote understanding by allowing people to test the truth behind preconceptions. Human books are people with powerful stories to tell and all have experienced prejudice and disadvantage in their lives. Examples of book titles available in Bristol are Face of Homelessness, Refugee, Becoming Blind, Ex-Felon, Childless by Choice, Capeverdean American Woman, and Living on the Hyphen of Being Iranian-American. Go to www.humanlibraryrhodeisland.com and click on “The Human Books” tab to read full catalog entries (check back frequently for updates).
“We’ve received great support from public and academic libraries in Providence and all around the East Bay as well as generous sponsorship from Library Friends’ groups, community organizations and businesses“ said Joyce May, Adult Services Librarian at Weaver Library and Co-Chair of HLRI 2014. “A human library is memorable experience and a powerful learning tool. We’re expecting visitors, not only from the East Bay but from all over the state” she added.
HLRI 2014 will take place on Sunday, March 30, 2014, at the Global Heritage Hall, Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI from 1:00pm -5:00pm. The program is free and open to all. For more information, visit www.humanlibraryrhodeisland.com, www.facebook.com/HumanLibraryRhodeIsland and follow @HumanLibRI on Twitter.