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The Human Library 2013

Thank you for a great event!

Winnipeg Public Library, in partnership with CBC and The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, held a very successful Human Library. This sequel to Winnipeg's first Human Library in 2011 featured over 30 Books in 3 days, held once again at the Millennium Library. The Human Library ran Thursday, January 24 to Saturday, January 26.

We had over 329 people drop in and 257 conversations took place. Photos here: Flickr.

How does a Human Library work?

It's as easy as 1-2-3:

1) Browse the Catalogue of Human Books and Schedule at-a-glance.

2) Drop in to the event and 'browse the shelf' (see below for all the details on borrowing)

3) Have a conversation with a Human Book - share, learn and have fun!

Want to learn more about our Human Books? Watch for stories of Human books on CBC Manitoba. And there's more across the country! Browse the interactive map on CBC's National Human Library Day.

What is a Human Library?
In a Human Library, people become the books and are 'borrowed' for conversation. The Human Books come from all backgrounds and ways of life, but they all have one thing in common: for different reasons they are often subjected to stereotyping or prejudice. Books and readers meet for a 'loan period' of up to 30 minutes in a safe and welcoming environment – the library – with the opportunity to listen, ask questions, and share experiences. The Human Library creates a new way to connect with each other: one Book, one Reader, one conversation at a time.

Who are the Books?
A Human Book is a volunteer who has chosen to speak openly and with honesty about their own life experiences, especially the challenges they have experienced because of stereotyping and prejudice.

Who are the Readers?
Readers are anyone and everyone – especially you! Bring your curiosity, questions, and a real interest in learning about other people's lives and perspectives, face-to-face in a safe and fun environment. Up to 2 readers per booking is allowed (e.g. a couple, 2 friends, parent and youth).

How do I borrow a Human Book?
Borrowing is as easy as coming to the Human Library event desk, checking for Book availability, and choosing a Book to borrow for conversation. Book and Reader then meet at identified stations in the Library for up to 30 minutes. All conversations happen in the event area, Books are 'on reserve' (you cannot take them home!). Due to demand the 30 minutes is the maximum available (no 'renewals'). All readers will receive a check out receipt that includes questions to get you started and guidelines to follow for a fun, engaging, and respectful conversation. No library card is required, just bring your enthusiasm for learning.

Is the event accessible?
Yes. The Millennium Library is an accessible building. Sign language interpretation is available as well, but must be pre-booked.

I want to know more about Human Libraries.
Human Libraries have been held in over 30 countries around the world since the first event held in Denmark in 2000. You can learn more about Human Libraries at For images from the inaugural 2011 event, take a look at our Flickr page.

Contact Us:
By phone: 204-986-4255 (Kathleen Williams, Winnipeg Public Library)

Human Library.orgCity of Winnipeg LogoCBC logoCanadian Museum for Human Rights

Last update: Friday, March 27, 2015