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Human Library

Embrace Diversity. Promote Inclusion. Experience a Different Point of View

A Human Library is a library of human beings, each representing a group in the community that may be exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination. Its purpose is to provide a safe conversational space where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. Along with its co-sponsors, Purdue Libraries and the Krannert Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Management, Student Life is proud to take part in this program.

Event Details


What is a Human Library?

A Human Library is an event that aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. "Books" are community members who have volunteered to share their experiences of prejudice and/or discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, class, gender identity, disability or another aspect of their lives. "Readers" and "books" engage in a dialogue designed to expose people to experiences that are different from their own and to encourage a deeper understanding among members of a community.

How does it work?

Patrons become readers by taking a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic that they represent. Conversations last approximately 20 minutes. This is not a storytelling session, but rather an experience of sharing built through questions and answers. The outcome of the session and direction of the talk depends on what the reader asks. It is the privilege of both parties to end the conversation at any point.

What to expect

To check out a Human Book, readers make a request from the Librarian. Librarians will collect the "book" and bring them to meet the reader. Readers and books will then have the opportunity to find a space within the ballrooms to share their stories and engage in authentic, meaningful conversations. Once the book is due back to the library, readers can choose to renew the same book or check out another book on a different topic. When a reader is finished, they are asked to complete a brief evaluation before exiting the library.

Additional information

Visit the global Human Library website to learn more about these events.


If you want to volunteer for the event or be a "book" or have other questions about Human Library, send us an email.