Living Libraries: People Instead of Books

Denmark has libraries where you can borrow a person instead of a book

Denmark has libraries where you can borrow a person instead of a book to listen to their life story for 30 minutes.

The goal is to fight prejudice. Each person has titles: “unemployed,” “refugee,” “bipolar,” and so on. Listening to their story, you understand how much you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover.”
This innovative and brilliant project operates in more than 50 countries around the world. It’s called

“Living Library”

The Living Library project is a new way of fighting prejudices and stereotypes, a social role-playing game. The main idea of ​​the “living library” is that the role of traditional carriers of information is performed directly by people. The main idea of ​​the “living library” and its fundamental difference from the classical library is that her books, as the main element of the library, are not made of paper. The role of books is performed by living people who speak for themselves.

The stories of their own experiences and the experiences in which the “people of the book” faced the most common stigmas, forms of segregation, and prejudice that have influenced their lives are the main tools of the living library.
The Human Libraries organization operates in over 80 countries where there are several permanent human libraries, but most of them take place in the form of events. The main slogan of the “living library”: “Don’t judge by the cover!”

The idea of ​​a “living book” was first realized in 2000 at a music festival in the Danish city of Roskilde. She received encouragement and support within the framework of the Youth for Human Rights and Social Justice program, which is funded by the Council of Europe. Gradually, numerous organizations in Europe and beyond have appreciated and adapted the possibilities and perspectives of the living library concept.

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