Human Library™ event is planned for March 7, 2019.

Feb 06, 2019

sketch-scribble of person with book-shaped headThe University Library has a long history of facilitating a safe and respectful environment for members of diverse groups to discuss their experiences with the greater campus community. Building on this success, a Human Library™ event is planned from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2019, in 198 Parks Library. In advance of the main event, a Telling Your Story, book orientation workshop is tentatively scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, in 198 Parks Library.

This event will be an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the diversity of Iowa State University and will provide a safe and supportive and respectful environment for people to learn more about and connect with more ways to better understand the experiences of fellow members of their campus community.  

From the Human Library organization:

What is a Human Book?

A Human Book is a person who has volunteered to challenge prejudice through respectful conversation with members of the public, who borrow them. They will have a title that relates to their experience of prejudice and/or discrimination.

Can anyone be a Human Book?

No. Only people who have experienced prejudice due to issues such as race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion/belief, lifestyle choices or other aspects of who they are can be a Book. The title they choose must directly reflect this in order to challenge the Reader to reflect on the stigmatization that occurs.

Volunteers are needed.

The University Library seeks volunteers to serve as Human Books for this event.

Help create an environment to encourage campus community members to learn more about each other and have conversations about important if difficult topics.  

Share stories and work to find ways to develop and use public speaking and writing skills to advocate for and help create a more inclusive campus.  

Meet and get to know people from across campus that you might not have met otherwise. 

Human Book volunteers need to be available on two dates.

Telling Your Story, Book orientation workshop - tentatively scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., Feb. 21 in 198 Parks Library. 

Human Library™ 4:30 - 8:30 p.m., March 7, 2019, in 198  Parks Library.

Serve as a Human Book.

Discuss your experiences and answer questions from members of the Iowa State University campus community for one on one or small group sessions of approximately 20-40 minutes.

Sound interesting? Please submit a volunteer application, linked below. The volunteer application has some written answer questions and is set it up for edit after submit changes can be made if necessary. Please submit completed applications as soon as possible. The volunteer application is the first step in a process for volunteering in Human Library. 

To volunteer, complete the Human Book Volunteer application.


Jasmine Kirby, social sciences and humanities librarian, 150 Parks Library, 701 Morrill Road, 515-294-2849
Erin Thomas, science and technology librarian, 150 Parks Library, 701 Morrill Road, 515-294-5525

For additional information, visit the Human Library™ Library Guide.

About Human Library™ With a tagline of “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” at a Human Library™ event, fellow community members or “readers” can “check out” or hear the stories, ask questions, and learn more about “books” or volunteers who share their stories of how the different aspects of their identity impact the way they see and experience their everyday lives. Human Library™ is a program administered by the Human Library™ based in Copenhagen, Denmark.