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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Human Library: NLW 2023

The Human Library™ is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.

What participants have said about Human Library Experiences.

  • It’s very good to talk about how I went through such kind of thing.  People can get a feeling that they are not isolated.   They struggle [with] the same things I have been struggling [with], and I was not alone. (Huang 2017)
  • “I started to share my story as I become more comfortable about my human state, about who I am.  And I also learned how to talk with others...(Huang 2017)
  • It [the conversation] was strange, embarrassing but actually, I’m not quite sure how to describe it. Perhaps fulfilling is the word, but it was more than that. (Clover 2014)
  •  John, who was astonished by the burlesque dancer: “You know, when you say ‘burlesque’ I think strip club. But she was a social worker going for a PhD, and I said, ‘Wow, did I miss that one!’” (Clover 2014)
  • Hilda took this further when she talked about her preconceived supposition of the Muslim Canadian artist:  "I expected her to be middle-aged and dressed in black. “Where did that come from?” I asked myself. (Clover 2014)
  • “It’s really exciting for me that this space and opportunity for dialogue is being created here at the university because I think it’s easy to get sidetracked by the reading and writing aspects of academia,” (U of T 2016)

  • “This is an opportunity to learn in a real, concrete way so many aspects of university life that we hear about, and at the same time make an actual connection with another human being.” (U of T 2016)

  • "There is no better way to discover all these things than to meet and have a meaningful conversation with every one of these wonderful people, to authentically appreciate and love who they are, in their identities, and in their beings." (Tan 2017)

  • Another participant related the experience to going on a journey of discovery, adding that she needed to dig deep at first and found out more about herself in the process. (University 2017)

  • The reason I decided to start this in Champaign-Urbana was because I volunteered with the Human Library Chicago, and I had very positive experiences at their events. I loved how it gave a voice to those that have had experienced oppression in their lives.(Mody 2016)

    I am a lesbian as well as a first-generation college student, so I knew my experience could be one that would be helpful for people to hear. However, I thought people would be much more interested in my “title” of First-Generation College Student than my “title” of Lesbian. . . . Color me surprised when many people “checked me out” and actually had serious questions, questions about how they could help their loved ones who are LGBT, questions about how they can help as allies.(Mody 2016)

  • “I love the message you get from a book. So the opportunity to be a human book instead of a written book was intriguing.” (Williams na)
  • “a half an hour is not nearly long enough to get into challenging conversations. But I think this was the lesson the Human Library gave me: the recognition that I have a stock of friends at Williams and in the Berkshires who have backgrounds different from mine, and that this is the time to get to those difficult, massively important discussions.” (Williams na)

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