The Human Library® @ W&L: Unjudge Someone

The Human Library® is designed to build a positive framework for us to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. It is a place where real people, Human Books, are on loan to Readers who check them out. Difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered. By acknowledging and challenging the judgments that we all carry towards one another, the Human Library® creates a safe space for curiosity through personal conversation. It is an invitation to unjudge someone.

What is a Human Book?

A Human Book is a person who volunteers to tell others about an aspect of their experience or identity that has exposed them to stigma, stereotyping, disadvantage, hardship, prejudices, or misunderstanding. Published books may focus on a range of topics such as cultural background, gender, disability, lifestyle, ethnicity, social status, occupation, religious belief, or experiences such as coping with loss/grief, trauma, or abuse.

Human Books participate in training, create a Title for their story, and provide Readers with insight, personal experience, and perspective about this part of who they are. Some examples of Titles are provided in the graphic below.

What is a Reader?

A Reader signs up to participate in a Reading in which they check out a series of two or three Human Books. Readers are invited to listen, ask questions, and talk with the Book and fellow Readers.

What is a Reading?

Photo of Human Library ParticipantsA Reading is an event that brings together Human Books with groups of 2-7 Readers for a series of 30-minute conversations. The Human Library® at W&L Reading event will be held on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in Leyburn Library.

What is a Librarian?

A Librarian is an organizer of a Human Library® event who has been trained to make sure the Reading includes a balance of Titles and to care for the needs of Human Books and Readers. At W&L, the Librarians include Kristy Crickenberger (, Murtaza Kapasi (, Rachel Levit Ades (, Karla Murdock (, Wendy Rains (, Kate Saacke (, and K.T. Vaughan (

What is a Title?

A Title is the label a Human Book chooses to represent the part of their personal story they will tell at the Reading. Titles tend to be very concise and refer to a specific aspect of marginalization, discrimination, or misunderstanding. Some examples are provided in the image below.

Image with Human Library Title examples

The Human Library® at W&L is presented by the Mudd Center for Ethics and Leyburn Library.


Human Library 2024