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Are You the Bookish Type? Be a Human Book

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

illustration for Merrill-Cazier Library 'Human Library' event

The Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University is recruiting people to be books in a Human Library event the library will hold in late January. Human books, also called living books, are checked out by people who want to find out more about something that the “book” has experienced or believes.

What is a human book?  Books are people who are willing to share their experiences, perspectives, values and beliefs, the library event organizers said. They are open to any kind of question on their chosen topic that is posed in a respectful way.

Information about the Human Library is posted on the international organization’s website.

“Living books have a special quality about them, not all have the potential to be bestsellers, and many have different approaches, but they all have commitment and value,” the website states. “There is something about the attitude and qualities of a human being that agrees to being lent out for hours on end, to talk with complete strangers about important and sometimes very personal issues. It shows great character and demands respect and admiration”  (from the Human Library website on the section about books).

With that in mind, Merrill-Cazier Library asks: Are you the kind of person that would like to be a human book?  Do you have a unique experience or perspective based on something that you have done or who you are that you would like to share?

Anyone who answers “yes” is asked to contact the library.

Books will need to fill out an application and meet with a recruiter.

“This is helpful for everyone to make sure that each person has a clear idea of what is involved and is a good match for the project goals of enhancing understanding and the promotion of diversity,” said Anne Hedrich. “We are looking for books of a variety of ethnicities, nationalities, religions, occupations, characteristics and those who have unique and interesting hobbies or experiences.”

Human Books will be available at Merrill-Cazier and the Human Library event Tuesday, Jan.  24, noon-2 p.m.; Wednesday Jan. 25, 2-4 p.m.; and Thursday Jan. 26, 4-6 p.m.

“Books” should be available for at least two hours during the Human Library event. An orientation for books is Monday, Jan. 23, from noon to 1 p.m.

For more about this worldwide project, see the website

To participate as a book in the Merrill-Cazier Library Human Library event, contact Hedrich at, 435-797-2165 or Angela Neff,, 435-797-2679.

Related link:

USU University Libraries

Source: Merrill-Cazier Library

Contact: Anne Hedrich, 797-2165,

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