Volunteer Books Needed for UNT’s Second Human Library

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A Human Library will be held in the Forum @ Willis Library September 17 and 18, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm each day. Instead of print or electronic resources, the books in this library will be human beings who have experienced prejudice due to issues such as race, gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, class, sexual preference, gender identity, or lifestyle choices.

Co-sponsored by UNT Libraries and the UNT Multicultural Center, the first UNT Human Library was held on February 17 and 18, 2013. At the event, in 15 to 30 minute personal conversations with students, members of the UNT community – graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff – shared their experiences as Latinos, gays, Muslims, persons with disabilities, police officers, African Americans, vegans and many other groups who are often misunderstood .

Both volunteer “books” and their “readers” were very positive about the experience. Feedback from one volunteer book indicated that the experience was “Very interesting and calm. I expected some harassment for being Muslim but everyone was very nice and considerate in asking questions. I only felt nervous at the beginning, but was otherwise very comfortable. Very happy to participate and would love to do it again.” Another book stated that it was a “Pleasantly surprising, excellent social awareness exercise. I believe I learned as much as my ‘readers.’”

If you are interested in joining the book collection for the fall Human Library, please email Diane Wahl. And share this article with colleagues and students you think may also be interested in volunteering. Volunteer books do not have to be present for both days of the event. The time commitment would be one or two shifts of three and a half hours, plus a one hour training session a week or two before the event.

The Human Library concept was developed in 2000 by members of the Danish Youth Organization Stop the Violence. It is now operational in more than 60 countries.