The Human Library

Don't judge a book by its cover

Date: Thursday, April 9, 2020
Time: 12 - 2 p.m.
Location: FAU Wimberly Library, 5th Floor

Register Here

The Human Library is an event aiming to create dialogue and deeper understanding in the FAU community. Students, staff, faculty and community members volunteer as human books representing individuals who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, class, gender identity, sex, age, lifestyle choices, disability, and any other aspect of their life that has been seen through biases.

On the day of the event “readers” select a book title they are interested in, go to the "book", and listen as the book shares its story. These reading sessions have no filters or editing. Everything here is real. Afterwards, readers can ask the books any questions with an open mind.

Past volunteers have said that they’ve gained insight into their own stories and experiences by listening to the questions of readers. Our volunteers have also found there is more acceptance after the interaction and have enjoyed forging new friendships.


If you are interested in volunteering to be a "book", please click here. 

What is the Human Library? 

An opportunity to break through the expectations and labels we place on each other. This powerful event is designed to:
• Bring together people who wouldn’t otherwise cross paths
• Challenge prejudices and biases
• Help people form a better understanding of others

Participants will walk away with a mutual understanding of what it means to be human beyond a single perceived identity. It’s a safe space where difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered. Our volunteers cherish the opportunity to share their narrative with others and forge new connections.

What is a human book?

A human book is a volunteer that is willing to share their story through respectful conversation with members of the public, who borrow them.  Some of the titles we have featured in the past include: "My Best Friend, My Bully", "The Wheels of Life", "Dude, Defined" and "Under the Shade".

Building a stronger community through empathy

Now more than ever, empathy is extremely important. Issues of race, and acceptance of others that are different than us are in the national conversation and often impacting all of us. Empathy is a powerful skill that allows us to see and appreciate another person’s perspective – essentially helping you understand what it’s like to be in his/her position.

How it works

Individuals with diverse life experiences act as ‘human books’ and can be ‘checked out.’ ‘Readers’ browse the list of human book volunteers and their stories, choose subjects they are interested in learning more about, and can "burrow" the books for small conversations. Conversations are 20 minutes long and will be held in small groups of 3 to 4 people per group.

Disclaimer: This is a time for conversation, not confrontation, so please treat the Books with care and respect.

Last modified at 02/26/2020 - 15:10 PM