Human Library: Unjudge Someone

Thomas Memorial Library is pleased to partner with the Town’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee  to offer a Human Library® event in October of 2023.

The Human Library Organisation, a nonprofit founded in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark, provides a safe framework for personal conversations that can help to challenge prejudice, reduce discrimination, prevent conflicts and contribute to greater human cohesion across social, religious and ethnic divisions. The Human Library® is based on the idea that we all carry prejudices and that we all judge. A Human Library® event offers people the opportunity to have a conversation with someone who belongs to a group in society that has experienced stigma, stereotyping, or prejudices.

For our fall event, we will transform our Community Room for one day into a special dialogue room, where taboo topics can be discussed openly and without condemnation–a place where people who would otherwise never talk find room for conversation. Real people from Cape Elizabeth and beyond will be available as Human Books to engage in a 30 minute one-on-one or small group for conversation within the library.

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Would You Like to Be a Human Book?

If you feel you belong to a group in society that has experienced stigma, stereotyping, or prejudices, the library and DEI Committee invite you to learn more about the project and consider applying to become a Human Book. The topics relevant for publication include but are not limited to ethnicity, religious belief, gender, mental and physical health, lifestyle, disability, and traumatic experiences. The Human Library® also publishes topics subject to heavy taboos, including victims of domestic and sexual violence, or grief-related topics. Human Books will undergo online training with the Human Library Organisation in Denmark and receive support from library staff and DEI Committee members before and during the event. If you think you might be interested in becoming a Human Book, please fill out the application below, and someone from the library or DEI Committee will be in touch with you to schedule an initial interview.

Have questions? Please contact Rachel Davis or Andy Ryer.

Please note: You must be at least 18 years old to be a Human Book.

Human Library Book Application Form

Please fill out the form below if you think you might be interested in volunteering to be a Human Book.
In the Human Library, every Book is unique and can choose their own Book Title (topic) based on their experiences. A Book has a short and accurate Title, that is easy for the Readers to grasp. The Title should reflect the experience of stigma, stereotyping, or prejudice. A Title cannot include wordplays or poetic features as these often mislead or confuse the Reader about the topic of the Reading. A few examples of Titles previously published at the Human Library are: Ex- convict, Bisexual, Non-binary, Police Officer, Alcoholism, Schizophrenic, Jewish, Indigenous, Orphan, and ADHD. The Human Library is responsible for vetting and preparing the content of a Book before publication. This means all Books are trained and prepared to engage with the Readers.

Read more about The Human Library