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April 21, 2019

4/3/2019 2:22:00 PM
'UNJudge Someone': The Human Library Returns

The Evanston Public Library’s Human Library experience returns for the third time with the challenge to “unjudge someone.” The Human Library offers an opportunity for real people who have faced stereotypes and prejudice, known as “Books,” to be “checked out” to “Readers” for a one-on-one 30-minute  conversation. The event will take place from noon till 3 p.m. on April 14 at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

A Book is a person who has volunteered to challenge prejudice through respectful conversation. Books speak about their experiences and engage in a dialogue with Readers who can ask them questions.

“This is a great opportunity for Evanstonians to join a global community that, since the first event in Copenhagen in 2000, has used the Human Library to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience” said Librarian Julie Rand. “Last April we had 10 ‘Titles,’ and we anticipate having 15 or more this year. This event highlights the diversity in our community and why we are committed to meeting the diverse needs of Evanstonians.”

Among the Titles scheduled so far are a person with Asperger’s, a gay white man, a Sikh, a Holocaust survivor, a blind person, an African American activist, a transgender person, a drag queen, a Muslim woman, a person with a mental illness, a female Nigerian-American lawyer and a disabled person.

Through this interactive learning experience, Human Libraries have helped people develop awareness and appreciation of our differences.

“One of the more insightful responses we got from a participant last year was, ‘The more interaction we have, the thinner the boundary,’” Ms. Rand said.

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