Borrow a book and instead of reading it – talk with a real person! Find people who are open to sharing their knowledge and experience. Collect diverse “books”. Your audience can borrow a book and talk with him or her. Originally the Living Library is face to face. But you easily can do it online.
Background about the Living Library
The Living Library or human library is a worldwide movement that is quite well established. It’s based on the original event human library to challenge stereotypes and discrimination. Ronni Abergel, his brother Dany and Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen created the human library in Copenhagen in 2000. Originally their event was open eight hours per day on four days of the week. Now they do training in schools or companies to better social understanding and to challenge prejudices. They create room for dialogue that is open and where people who wouldn’t talk have conversations.
The concept of the Living Library has been part of the Council of Europe’s program since 2003. The idea is successful as it has been implemented in over 60 countries worldwide.
- Adult citizens
You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.
The Living Library is a powerful, interactive tool to enable dialogue and other perspectives. The books give people inspiration and new input to think of. Besides, it’s also interactive.
This activity is easy to organise and can be part of an event or workshop. Find open minded people from different fields and sectors. It’s great to have diverse books for a wide range of other perspectives. For around 20 people you can have 9 to 12 books. But you can also have more or less books. This is up to you. Let the books introduce themselves on your website/platform. Your audience wants to know with whom they can talk about what. For the online version use the interactive platform wonder.me (https://app.wonder.me/). It is easy to handle and therefore perfect for engagement events.
Create a nice background on wonder.me and have a librarian for the people. Just in case the people need support in borrowing the books. It’s also good to label the books as such.
Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science. Keep in touch for news of future events