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October 22, 2014

Read you like a book

It started when a young man in Denmark was attacked for no apparent reason.  His friends, unable to fathom the motives for the attack, wanted to do something about it. They decided the root of the problem was a lack of dialogue and understanding of what lies behind a person’s prejudice. So they came up with the ground breaking idea of a human library comprised of human books. You borrow a  (human) book that you think you won’t like in order to confront your prejudice. It’s a simple, community based idea that spreading round the world and now in the UK.



To learn more about the Human Library –  click here

The History of The Human Library

Once upon a time in Copenhagen, Denmark. There was a young and idealistic youth organisation called “Stop The Violence”. This non-governmental youth movement was self initiatied by the five youngsters Dany Abergel, Asma Mouna, Christoffer Erichsen, Thomas Bertelsen and Ronni Abergel from Copenhagen after a mutual friend was stabbed in the nightlife (1993). The brutal attack on their friend, who luckily survived, made the five youngsters decide to try and do something about the problem. To raise awareness and use peer group education to mobilise danish youngsters against violence. In a few years the organisation had 30.000 members all over the country.

What is the Human Library?

The Human Library is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach.

In its initial form the Human Library is a mobile library set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors to a Human Library are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background.

The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding.

It is a “keep it simple”, “no-nonsense” contribution to social cohesion in multicultural societies.