Human Library Event Held at Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Human Library was held at Sabancı University on Thursday, November 30, 2023 between 5.30 PM – 8.30 PM at Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Human Library is an international non-profit project dedicated to the diversity in our society, organized by volunteers. Human Library mission is to build a constructive dialogue between people from different social groups. Such a dialogue in an informal and safe environment helps to get rid of stereotypes causing discrimination against individuals or whole groups of people, and helps to raise the level of understanding and acceptance in society. For the vast majority of Readers and Books - reading is a very inspiring and reciprocally enriching process.

Human Library works the same way as a normal library. Readers fill a library card, choose a Book from a catalog and borrow it for reading. Then they return the Book back to the Library, and if they want, they take another one. The only difference is that the Book in Human Library is a real person, and reading is a conversation. Books are individuals from the social groups that often experience stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination and who are willing to share their personal history, experience and knowledge, and respond honestly to the questions of Readers.

Human Library welcomed the Books such as drag queen, oncology mother, homeless, gay, bisexual, dangerous breed dog owner, search and rescue, gay mother, gay father, a person with cerebral palsy, stutterer, vegan, albino, HIV+, sister of the autistic and the gifted.

Books and Readers who attended the event shared their experiences as follows:

“As a person who stutters, it is not always possible to talk about stuttering and speak freely. Human Library was an event where I broke this easily. I was very happy to be a Book, to tell about my difference and to see that it was responded to. We had good communication with the Readers. In this way, I felt very good and they raised their awareness.” (Stutterer Book)

“Being a Reader in Human Library was very different for me. It was a very special experience where we were able to talk to people who were marginalized in society but we actually lived and worked together without our prejudices and listened to their life experiences.I still think about the Books I read. I am sure that Human Library was an event that had transformative power and gave people a sense of unity, not only for the students of the Civic Involvement Projects course, but for all of us. I can't wait for the next one.” (A Reader)

“Human Library was a very different and beautiful experience for me. At this event, I had the chance to listen to the Books of a gay, a gay father and an oncology mother. While listening to all three Books with admiration, I never felt like I was meeting them for the first time. The reason for this is that they are very sincere and sincerely express the issues we constantly encounter in our society. I learned a lot from each Book, and their perspective on life impressed me a lot." (A Reader)