Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Human Library at Westside Library

Westside Library in association with the Westside Community Development Project and Galway County Council’s Social Inclusion Unit recently hosted Galway’s first ever Human Library.
On Wednesday March 16th 2011 Westside Library became the Human Library where the ‘books’ could literally speak. There were many ‘readers’ in attendance who came to borrow a human ‘book’.

The human ‘books’ included an older person, a teenager, a traveller, a Muslim, a member of an Gardai Síochána and lots more. They represented groups of people who have experienced prejudice or stereotyping in their profession. The aim of the Human Library is the promotion of understanding and tolerance through dialogue and there was plenty of chat throughout the evening.
The immigrant worker book was the ‘bestseller’ on the night but all of the books were in high demand. Feedback from both books and readers was very positive. As one reader commented, ‘communication between humans is really essential’. The evening concluded with a choral recitation by the Westside Community choir. The conversations continued with refreshments and many new friendships were made on the night.

The Human Library was begun by Ronnie Abergel in Denmark and it is now an international event with over 120 events in 45 countries.

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