Borrowing People: The Human Library —James Baron Most libraries lend out books, but the Human Library is different. As the name suggests, this library lets users check out living, breathing human beings.
The idea is simple. People volunteer to be ''books'' by choosing a title that describes a special feature about them. Library users can choose which human book they'd like to check out based on the titles. For example, a user might borrow a ''homeless person.'' In that case, he or she would sit down with a homeless person for around 30 minutes and listen to that person's story. Other titles might be ''Olympic athlete,'' ''refugee,'' or ''young single mother.''
The Human Library was set up in Denmark by people who wanted to encourage dialogue between different social groups. The founders believed that violence often comes from a lack of understanding between people.
So far, temporary human libraries have appeared in 50 countries. Some places, such as South Korea, have even set up permanent human libraries. As the Human Library shows, we should never judge a book by its cover, since every person has a valuable story to tell.