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The Human Library

The Human Library

Ask Questions About Difficult Issues 

Join us for an event developed by The Human Library, a nonprofit learning platform that allows individuals to borrow people instead of books. But not just any people. Every “human book” from this library represents a group that faces misunderstanding, prejudice or stigmas because of their lifestyle, ethnicity, beliefs, or disability.

We have developed a diverse collection of human books from our community. At the event, a list of our Books will be available in the lobby. 

This event is cosponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation in collaboration with the Human Library, Copenhagen, Denmark.

"What could be a better source to learn from than someone who has had a lived experience?" Ronni Abergel, CEO Human Library. 

What to Expect at the Human Library In-Person Event

You can come by the event anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. to borrow a human book for a conversation about prejudices and diversity. Once you have selected the Book you would like to talk to, you can sit and have an open conversation for a maximum of 30-minutes. Come with questions and an open mind. 

All books and checkout periods will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can also place a hold for a book you would like to read if it is checked out.

Readers in a family or small groups of three people can check out a book together.


This program is appropriate for ages 16 and above. This is an In-person event at Burke Centre Library, 5935 Freds Oak Rd, Burke, VA 22015. 

Related LibGuide: Adults and 50-Plus by Fairfax County Public Library (Admin)

Saturday, April 13, 2024
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Burke Centre Meeting Room 116, Burke Centre Meeting Room 117
Library Branch:
Burke Centre Library
  Adults     Teens  
FCPL Event Guidelines
Registration has closed.

Understanding the model: The Human Library

What is a Human Library? 
A Human Library is a way for people to connect with individuals in their community that they might not normally engage with. Visitors to a library have an opportunity during a planned event to borrow Human Books and to engage in conversation with them.

What is the Objective?
By creating a dialog we hope to better our understanding of diversity in order to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, religious, social and ethnic differences.

What is a Human Book?
Human books are volunteers who are willing to share their stories with others in a safe environment. Each ‘book’ represents a group that struggles with misunderstanding, prejudice or stigma.
All human books come with a title and synopsis to help readers select what they would like to "read" (i.e., with whom they would like to converse). This is an opportunity to speak with people with different lived experiences. Some examples of “human books” include, “ Bipolar, Homeless, Autistic, Victims of sexual abuse, Tattoo artists, Low vision/Deaf, Muslim women, Depression, Wheelchair User”.

Who is a Reader?
Readers check out human books. By doing so, they can participate in one-on-one or small-group conversations with the books to ask questions and to learn about other’s life experiences.

Event Organizer

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Admin Program Department Staff

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