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The Human Library is an international concept initiated in 2000 by the Stop the Violence Danish youth organization. Human Library events aim to promote and stimulate dialog among people in order to break down stereotypes, promote human rights and diversity - in all its forms.

A Human Library works just like a regular library. Readers, guided by a Librarian, borrow books for a limited amount of time, read them, and then return them. However, in this case, Readers take people on loan and engage in an informal dialog with them. Under the general slogan of "Meet your prejudice!", readers get the chance to interact with people that are marred by social stigma: the convict, the madman, the blond, the policeman, the homosexual, and so on. Hence a Human Library event may foster an authentic dialog between people that might break down social stigma.

By sharing life stories, reading Human Books allow us to come face-to-face with our own preconceived ideas and possibly even to overcome them and open up to social diversity. Each story can potentially be the story of everyone of us. This face-to-face and heart-to-heart personal dialog might in fact change how the story ends.

For a history of the Human Library concept and an overview of the reasoning and principles behind, check out

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