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Library Human Library
Logo for the Human Library event

6th Annual Human Library

Wednesday November 10, 2021

10am-12pm and 2-5pm

What is the Human Library?

The Human Library® is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. ‘Human Books’ are Fairfield University students, faculty, and staff who have volunteered to share their story to break down barriers based on race, religion, sexual orientation, class, gender identity, lifestyle choices, disability or other aspects of their life. The Human Library provides the opportunity for the Fairfield University community to share and understand the experiences of others.

Why should I attend?

Some reasons why: 1.) Because you want to have open and honest conversations that can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community. This is an innovative approach to challenging stigma, stereotypes and prejudices through a non confrontational and friendly conversation. 2.) Because the Human Library is a worldwide movement for social change (in over 80 countries) and you want to experience it. 3.) Because you could meet someone new from our campus community! No small talk. An authentic conversation.

What happens at the event? And what am I expected to do as a reader?

Readers will view a list of book titles and descriptions and register for a 30 minute timeslot to speak with one book over Zoom. The link will be emailed one day before the event. When readers and books click on the link, they will be greeted by a library staff member and given a brief overview and guidelines. Then the library staff member will place the book and reader into a breakout room. A timer will be set for 20 minutes and will be with just one individual (student, faculty, or staff member). Books are expected to share a personal story that challenges stereotypes or prejudices through a conversation with an individual reader. Conversations between books and readers usually flow naturally. We provide readers with “starter questions” in case they need some help figuring out what to say. Just be yourself - that will help to relax you and to relax the person you’re talking with. After the conversation, books and readers will go back to the main Zoom room for closing remarks and readers will be given a link to fill out a reflection survey.

Who attends the event?

Only Fairfield University students, faculty, and staff can attend the event as readers or sign up to be books.

Can I attend with my friends or family?

Anyone who has a Net ID and password can register for an individual conversation. Readers are discouraged from bringing anyone into the Zoom conversation. The event is meant to be between one book and one reader.

How much of a time commitment is it? 

Readers will sign up for a half hour time slot ahead of time to speak to a specific book they chose. It is important to enter the session on time since there could be other conversations scheduled before or afterwards.

How do I know what to ask or how to respond to the book's story?

We provide a list of suggested questions when when we send you the Zoom link. You can use it to guide your conversation or you can come up with your own.

Will there be photography or filming at the event?

There will be no photography or video taken during the event and readers will be strongly discouraged from doing so.

How do I sign up to be a book at the next Human Library?

We would love to have you be a book! The application form is typically available the first week of September (on this site and Life@Fairfield) and we will send emails to the entire campus to advertise.