Human Library to Debut in Dorchester
Dorchester, MA – March 24, 2015 – On Saturday, April 18th from 10-2pm, the librarians at the Fields Corner Branch Library in Dorchester will be encouraging patrons to check out and converse with living “Human Books”. The eclectic collection will cover such topics as Living with a Disability, Overcoming Homelessness, Jehovah’s Witness and Female with Aspergers, among others.
The book titles are thought-provoking for a reason: All represent people who have been stereotyped due to issues of race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion, lifestyle choices or other aspects of who they are. Human Books are local residents, workers and students who have volunteered to be “checked-out” for 15 minute “loan periods” during the four-hour event. Books will engage with borrowers in one-on-one conversations about their experience, with questions strongly encouraged.
“Fear promotes prejudice, tries to pretend it doesn’t exist. The Human Library promotes curiosity, which can help to unlock our shared humanity,” said organizer Lynn Holmgren of Write on the DOT. “Personal storytelling and dialogue are powerful tools for peace and healing, but they’re often underutilized.” The event is a collaborative effort between the UMass Boston MFA Program, Write on the DOT community reading series and BPL Fields Corner.
The Human Library (humanlibrary.org) was created in 2000 by members of the Danish youth organization Stop the Violence and is now operational in more than 60 countries. This will be the first Human Library event to take place in Massachusetts, and the organizers hope its success will inspire other communities in Boston and beyond to take part in this intentional, community-building project.