Library of Humans at Mizzou

This Tuesday, the Diversity Center held Mizzou’s first Human Library event.

Starting back in 2001 in Denmark, the Human Library is exactly what it sounds like: people can come in and, instead of checking out books, they check out people.  Volunteers offer stories of their lives–struggles, successes, words of wisdom, anything of value to a fellow student–in hopes of bringing the student body closer together and allowing a safe environment for individuals to discuss anything they’d like.  “We’re really trying to tamp down stereotypes,”  said Nikki Stanley, the hand that brought the Human Library experiment to the University of Missouri.  “Our goal is to take down some of the shadows people face everyday.”

One human “book” we spoke to was Gina Ceylan, a blind graduate student perusing her masters in education.  “My main focus is to get people to realize that we’re all disabled one way or another,” she said.  “Knowing our disabilities makes us stronger as a people.”

The Human Library project has not yet scheduled another stop here at Mizzou, but with a successful turnout for the pilot, it’s fair to say MU students won’t be checking out just paperbacks in the semesters to come.

Watch the story here

Jacob Jones