Human Library


Foundation IRSE, based on the idea created by Human Library Organisation


Human Library


Gdańsk (Poland)


Polish, English


Target group

local society, people over 16 years old (younger with parents/legal guardians)


printed catalogue, library cards

Info in:



The Human Library or “Menneskebiblioteket” as it is called in Danish, was developed in Copenhagen in the spring of 2000 as a project for Roskilde Festival.

Human Library is a place (event) where people who experience stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination and exclusion play the role of Human Books. The Human Library does not focus on one topic or one minority, but touches on the issue of discrimination in the broadest possible context. Human Books come from a wide variety of backgrounds, have diverse social status, religion, occupation, color tone, sexual orientation, material status, education, age, opinion, appearance. They share a common goal: the promotion of human rights and the acceptance of the diversity by sharing own experience.

Take part in Human Library can anyone who wants to meet another people, learn more about his/her situation, views, life. It is also a space to verify own views and stereotypes. There are no tabs or moderators here. Every reader has 30 minutes for a private conversation with a selected Human Book e.g. Muslim, Refugee, Immigrant, Jew, Deaf blind, Homeless etc.

Human Library helps build understanding for diversity by providing a framework for real conversations about important issues. Open and honest conversations that can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community. Real people in real conversations within a framework setup to help facilitate and accommodate the process. Because this is an innovative approach to challenging stigma, stereotypes and prejudices through a non confrontational and friendly conversation. To give a voice to groups in the community that are stigmatized and to help bring about platforms that support a greater understanding of diversity and social cohesion.

The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and so they did. More than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organisers and readers stunned at the impact of the Human Library.





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