Upcoming Human Library event aims to defy stereotypes through conversation


Human Library event set to take place April 22. Photo courtesy of Pexels

Katherine Camarata, Staff Reporter

Some libraries provide a cozy place to bury your nose in a book, while others offer more unusual forms of media to check out: humans. 

The Human Library is an international nonprofit organization created in 2000 that coordinates conversations to “challenge stigma and stereotypes” and “create a safe space” where “difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered,” according to a press release sent by the CWU EthicsLab.

The Ellensburg edition of the Human Library will take place on April 22 at the Hal Holmes Community Center. It is a collaborative project between the CWU EthicsLab, CWU Libraries and the City of Ellensburg.

David Schwan, a philosophy professor and EthicsLab coordinator, said he is eager to feature “a wide diversity of perspectives and experiences from our region of Washington.”

While online communication broadens access to various ideas, having direct conversations face-to-face is “a powerful and transformative tool for expanding our understanding of the social world,” according to Schwan.

Schwan said they hope to turn this event into a regular occurrence, where volunteers can serve as “books” and offer their personal insight. He said he hopes the Human Library will “promote a greater understanding of others in our community and of the social importance of conversation and active listening.”

The Human Library promotional materials sport the phrase “unjudge someone,” and invite community members who defy stereotypes or have valuable experiences to volunteer as a human book. 

Those who have questions or who wish to participate can reach out to [email protected] or visit Humanlibrary.org. 

Apply to be part of the Human Library: 

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