Friday, October 24, 2008

Living Library hits US

I first blogged about the "Living Library" event that was held in the U.K. back in May of this year. Library Journal just posted to an article about the Living Library concept being carried out in U.S. Public Libraries. Living Library events allow a patron to "check out" a person for a half hour chat about more or less whatever they want. The "book" (i.e. person being checked out) is someone of interest (a relative term, I know) that the patron would want to get to know more about. Hmm, the way I'm describing this it sounds like a dating service. Wrong message. For example, the "books" at recent events included an ex-gang member, an activist for homelessness, a nudist, a person of Oaxacan (a group in Mexico) background, and so on. The idea is for the patrons to expose themselves to someone outside their comfort zone or normal range of contact and pursue a conversation that opens their minds to new ideas. Personally, I loved this idea when I first read about it, and am excited to see that there has been 1 successful event and another in the works in our litigious society! Does anyone else think this could be a really interesting program to offer our college community?

1 comment:

Julie said...

This does sound very interesting, maybe a class could create an assignment out of it. I haven't visited the site yet, but I do remember hearing about it.

We could also advertise the Living Library on our website, perhaps under Library News, as well as on flyers that we post monthly.


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