Storyhouse hosted the North West’s first Human Library during Storyhouse Festival of Languages.
The Human Library aims to break down stereotypes and ‘unlabel’ the labels that we put on people through a ‘library’ – each ‘book’ is a person, and the title of the book is the label they have been given (‘autistic’, ‘queer’, ‘depressed’, for example). Readers dropped in, chose a ‘book’, and then chatted with that person about their label; asking questions and learning and discovering the human being behind the label.
The Human Library is a concept created by the Danish youth organisation Stop The Violence in 2000 and it is now operational on five continents. It is a library of human beings, individuals, that each represent a group in the community that are somehow exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination. The Human Library™ aims to establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered by the Human Book on loan. It was developed to challenge societal prejudices wherever and for whatever reasons they occur, and to help people form a better understanding of those with whom they share their communities
Some of the thoughts of people who took out a ‘book’ at the Human Library.