About "Human Library"

"Human Library" is method of informal education, encouraging social awareness, tolerance and respect for human rights. "Human Library" consists of books, librarians and readers.

Books are people from vulnerable social groups, experiencing discrimination or stereotypes in society. Books have a lot to say about discrimination, social inequality, answer a lot of deep and intimate questions concerning lifestyle of different social groups.

Librarians greet each reader (a passerby, participant or targeted audience) that comes to the "Human Library". Librarian is a trained volunteer that is responsible for preparing guests for the reading process, explaining the rules and suggesting to pick a book from the catalogue. New readers often have concerns: what will I ask the book? Does the book feel ok about my questions? Will I offend the book? and etc. „Before talking to a trans book I hesitated: I don‘t know any trans people, what will we talk about? And after seeing friendly smile of a book I managed to start a nice conversation – I‘m glad I decided to come to the event“ – anonymous reader presents her experience.

The process of reading involves a sincere conversation between the book and the reader, asking concerning questions and getting straight answers. The reading process becomes a comfortable and interactive place for intimate discussions with people from socially vulnerable groups. Librarians are observing conversation from aside and intervene if needed. The reading session is approximately 15 to 25 minutes. Usually the result of reading is obvious: readers leave thoughtful, positive and energised, quite often they become friends and exchange contacts. Reading demolishes barriers of uncertainty and fear and develops understanding between different people.

Worldwide successful method of informal education started in Lithuania in 2007 as a part of European Council campaign "All different – all equal". From then the "Human Library" became a constant guest at various events and an important educational tool in non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and society as a whole.

Huge effect of "Human Library" urges us to ensure succession of this method.

Contact Us!

If You represent non-governmental organization, if human rights and tolerance are not just bulk words for You, if You have ideas You want to implement, please contact us!

Program “Human library” is coordinated by:

National institute for social integration

Tauro st. 12, 4th floor, Vilnius