Human Library gives students chance to open dialogue on challenging topics

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University libraries partnered with The Human Library organization to host an event at Cravens Library on Tuesday afternoon.

A Human Library allowed participants to “check out” human books to read and learn more about the personal perspectives of the “book’s” life.

The learning program was first started in Denmark in an effort to create conversations where challenging topics can be discussed openly between the books and their readers, often times addressing ideas surrounding prejudices, stigmas and stereotypes.

The event was the first of its kind held at a WKU library and featured the following 12 books to check out:

  • Army Veteran
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Dual Citizen
  • A Healing Path
  • International Priest
  • Law Enforcement
  • Muslim Culture
  • Oldest of Nine
  • Small Business Owners
  • 28-year-old Cancer Survivor
  • Weight Loss Surgery
  • Women in Politics

All the participants involved in the event voluntarily chose to help share their stories.

“WKU libraries has a great collection of information, but that’s print, that’s electronic books,” said Anthony Paganelli, event organizer and library instructor. “Sometimes our information comes from people, their actual experiences. We thought this was a great way to get our students an education in diversity and all these other life skills that they can use.”

Five, 20-minute sessions were held with several books to interact with per session.