The “Human Library” is coming to Cambridge, but first the Cambridge Public Library and Cambridge Community Television are asking people to volunteer as “Human Books.”
The Human Library, scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. May 5 at the city’s Main Library lets “readers” check out a Human Book for up to a half-hour to learn more about the experiences of people unlike themselves.
The partners have two questions to for “book” applicants:
Have you been subject to prejudice, discrimination or stigma based on who you are, where you came from or how you self-identify? Are you able to talk about your experience in a respectful conversation with others who are curious?
“The purpose of the event is to help people better understand others in their community,” organizers said in a Wednesday press release inviting applicants. The idea was not born in Cambridge, but as a violence-prevention tool developed as the “Menneskebiblioteket” for the 2000 Roskilde Festival held in Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 1,000 people checked out more than 50 human books over four eight-hour days at the festival, and the concept has since spread worldwide. (Lismore, Australia, held a Library monthly for years since its launch there in November 2006.)
The application process is online at surveymonkey.com/r/cambridgehuman. Applications are due no later than March 15, with applicants to be screened in late March.