Well, there are weird concepts, and then there are even weirder concepts. And then there is fifty miles of thought purgatory, and then there is this concept. There are some libraries around the world where there are not books; rather they are in contact with particular people who have a unique group of thoughts just like books themselves. They can offer you a different perspective on a particular subject by not just offering words but also a complete set of thoughts and first-hand knowledge about a specific subject. Just like in any library, you are given only a specific amount of time for each book and no, you cannot issue one to take home! They are human beings for God’s sake!
So, the idea is quite simple (and weird) for most of us, but that is new concepts appear to people before they become a norm. Maybe this one will be too, and you might don its book racks one day as well, just like these book-people with a lot to offer:
Have a first-hand experience of dealing with an autism patient and find out more about his struggles and don’t just judge by the cover alone.
Have a real conversation with a body modifier who heavily likes to indulge in tattooing, piercing and stuff like that. Even if he can’t justify the altering his body, he can tell you a lot about why he believes this could change him.
Understand the perils of being forced to leave your own home and being forced from one place to another with no legal and financial cover. The contents of this refugee book should be interesting.
Despite what we may believe, transgenders are living breathing people and we need to understand their point about life before judging them solely by their cover.
The everyday struggles of soup kitchens, shelters and even sleeping out in the open can be imagined by meeting this person. It must be a hard life as well.
A deaf-blind person is definitely one of the best sellers around. He can only communicate via a certain set of signals and we cannot just ask him anything. He has to be conveyed via a special technique.
As well as these books, you can borrow a police officer, a veteran with PTSD, a single mom and a muslim as well. The List goes on and on.
Ronni Abergel launched this innovative concept back in 2000 when he ran a test event at Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Encouraged by the event’s impact, he decided to take it home with him. It is basically a safe place where people can read a person and not judge it just like any book we read. Sixteen years after the first event, the human library has now spread in over 70 countries with South Africa, Sudan and Chile coming up in next years.
It is a great way to make communities and reclusive groups of people communicate with each other and try to live in harmony. Here is the video of the human Library at UVIC McPherson Library in 2012.