Human Library – Challenge your prejudices by Helen Harvey

Title of talk:

Human Library – Challenge your prejudices

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • Why the Human Library is so important as a platform for greater understanding
  • Brief history of Human Library
  • Why the venue is important
  • Why selecting the right books is important?


A few paragraphs on your subject:

The Human Library is where people become books. Visitors to the library will sit down with living ‘books’ for intimate and challenging conversations.
Through fascinating stories with local people from all walks of life the reader will re-think prejudices and assumptions.
The Human Library® is a global innovative and learning platform. We are embedded in high school to higher learning, medical training to civic engagement to better our understanding of diversity in order to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, religious, social and ethnic differences.
The Human Library works to create a safe framework
for personal conversations that can help to challenge prejudice, get aim to help rid discrimination, prevent conflicts and contribute to greater human cohesion across social, religious and ethnic divisions.
Human Library Morecambe creates a safe space for dialogue to challenge stereotypes. A space to ask questions about difficult issues.
The Human Library or “Menneskebiblioteket” as it is called in Danish, was developed in Copenhagen in the spring of 2000 as a project for Roskilde Festival by Ronni Abergel and his brother Dany and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen.
The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and so they did. More than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organisers and readers stunned at the impact of the Human Library.
One of the creators, Ronni Abergel, realising the potential of the idea, decided after the first event, to begin to work to promote the idea to potential new organizers.
Since then he has founded the Human Library Organization, produced a guide to new organizers with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Council of Europe. Travelled to many countries to help train new local organizers, plan launch events and present the idea to interested organizations and public authorities.
Today it is estimated that the Human Library has been presented in more than 80 countries around the world, most of them in partnership with local organizers.

A few paragraphs about you:

Helen is a registered child and Adolescent therapist specialising in the area of trauma. She is a published author and writes a regular blog on teenage mental health and parenting teenagers.
She also runs a project in Morecambe entitled ‘What’s happening brother – portraits from Morecambe Bay’ in which she tells residents stories with an accompanying photo (sort of like a photoblog)
Helen is also a sea swimmer. She has swum Alcatraz to San Francisco Bay, The Solent and recently has completed her channel qualifier. She is also a RNLI crew member.

What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?

What are your weblinks?

This event took place in at The Castle Hotel  (66 Oldham Street, Manchester) on November 21st from 7pm