GovNews: City of Evanston, IL Uses The Human Library to Confront Prejudice

The City of Evanston will host The Human Library to challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue. It offers an opportunity for real people, known as “Books,” to be “checked out” to “Readers” for a one-on-one conversation for 20-25 minutes.

ARTICLE | Aug 22, 2018
City of Evanston, IL

What is a Human Library? The Human Library is an event designed to challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue. It offers an opportunity for real people, known as “Books,” to be “checked out” to “Readers” for a one-on-one conversation for 20-25 minutes.

The Books are people who have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on disability, race, appearance, religion, sexual preference, gender identity, body size, occupation, immigrant status, or another social reality. They have volunteered to challenge prejudice through respectful conversation. In the Human Library, Books not only speak but also are able to reply to the Readers’ questions and can ask questions themselves.

Evanston’s upcoming Human Library Event will take place at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center on September 15 from noon to 3 pm.

The Human Library event that took place in April at the Evanston Public Library received overwhelming positive reviews from the fifty or so Readers who attended. Both Books and Readers reported that they had a wonderful time. Their comments included:

  • “Preconceived notions are challenged when you speak with someone face to face.”
  • “The more interaction we have, the thinner the boundary. The more we see our commonalities.”
  • “I was impressed by how "open" the participants were about sharing their story.”                           
  • “I've been given new perspectives, and had all of my questions answered.”
  • “I actually just enjoyed the experience and meeting someone of a "different" race. Discrimination never came up.”                              
Human library

Evanston is just one of several forward-thinking communities in Illinois that sponsor Human Libraries. There also is Human Library Chicago and Human Libraries at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and at Illinois State University in Normal.

Mark your calendar for the Human Library event in the Parasol Room at the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., on September 15 from 12:00 pm to 3 pm.

About the Evanston Public Library

For more than 140 years, the Library has provided educational, culturally-rich resources for all residents, helped children prepare for school through the joys of reading and learning, celebrated Evanston’s diversity, and helped residents find information they seek. The Library is more than a building of books; it is a place to meet, connect, learn and explore. To learn more, visit www.epl.org.

 
From City of Evanston, IL
Media Contact:
Jill Schacter 
jschacter@cityofevanston.org
Phone:  847/448-8628

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