Is There a Great Book Inside You? Join Shaker's First-Ever Human Library

Do you have a great story to tell based on your life experience? Shaker Library is looking for volunteers to become human books and tell their stories at our first-ever Human Library event on Jan. 16, 2024 from 5 to 8 p.m.


What is a Human Library?  

During a Human Library event, real people become books who share their life stories. The books come from all walks of life and will talk about having been stigmatized or stereotyped due to race, class, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, lifestyle choices, or disability.  


How does it work? 

Shaker Library will offer a collection of human books for attendees to check out and converse with during the event. Books may be checked out for a 20-minute one-on-one conversation. Library staff will provide some suggested questions to get the conversations started and a code of conduct to keep things respectful. 


What is the goal of the event? 

The event encourages attendees to “un-judge” others through open, earnest conversations. The purpose of these conversations is to challenge stereotypes, promote understanding among diverse individuals, and foster empathy for others.


Who can participate as a Human Book?

The best books are people who have been judged by others for some aspect of their personality or life. Examples of books include

  • A person of color
  • A member of the LGBTQ community
  • A disabled person
  • An immigrant
  • A member of the military
  • A member of a minority religion
  • A person with an unusual career path
  • A person who has overcome a major hardship

and many more stories that reflect our community’s diversity.


What will volunteers do?

You must champion the Human Library’s mission to help participants un-judge someone by engaging in open and earnest conversation with attendees and answering their questions. You’ll also need to be comfortable setting boundaries during the conversation.

To participate, you’ll attend an orientation where you’ll meet other books and can ask questions.

Then, on January 16, you’ll need to be available between 5 and 8 p.m. to be checked out by interested, respectful people. We will provide a comfortable and safe space to hold your conversations and will provide you with breaks and refreshments as needed. This will take a few hours of your time, and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.