Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

Breathing, Smiling, Walking, Talking Books.

Last week, I was forwarded this article about a library in London where patrons can borrow people for one-half hour chats.  Borrow people, you say?  Yes, borrow people.  Several Londoners volunteered to participate in Living Library program where, as a patron, you can “check out your prejudice.” 

The idea is beautifully simple:  volunteers are cataloged as “books” and tagged with various stereotypical descriptions related to that volunteer’s identity.  Patrons ask a librarian to borrow one of the “books” and then the patron and “book” have a 30-minute conversation with the goals of breaking down barriers and of increasing tolerance.  When the thirty minutes are up, the patron returns the “book” to the librarian.

After I read the article, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this concept and wondering, could we have a program like this here at Main?  I invite you to comment here and let us know what your thoughts are.  If we had a program like this, what living book might you volunteer to be?  What living book would you want to check out?

In the meantime, check out one of our non-breathing books.  We have many autobiographies and memoirs on our shelves.  Read about someone who is Black, White and Jewish or read about the experience of a Person with a Transgender Spouse.  Perhaps you have questions for a Christian Voter or an African-American Single Mom.  Or maybe you just feel like “hassling” a Celebrity.

Comments and thoughts?



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