Human Library Event


“Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover” — Visit the Human Library at Alfred University to learn more about the people who make up our community.

January 23, 11:30am-1:30pm at Herrick Library in the BookEnd Lounge.

What is the Human Library?  book glasses

The Human Library at Alfred University is a collaboration between the University Libraries and the Institute for Cultural Unity (ICU). The ICU strives to “[develop] self-awareness and respect for others through the sharing of experiences and cultures”; the Human Library will provide a forum for sharing experiences and engaging in dialog.
The Human Library event plays off the idea that readers engage in dialog with books, which they check out from a library. In these events, the Books are participants who select the subject matter and title they will represent. They are the resources which will be utilized by Readers. Readers are event attendees, who can select a Book (based on title and possibly description) to “check out.” Checking out a Book entails engaging in a one-on-one conversation for a short period of time (usually 15 minutes) which focuses on the Book’s title. The context of the event provides a safe and judgment-free time and place for Readers to ask questions they may not feel comfortable expressing in other situations and for Books to share themselves and their experiences.

girl with bookWhy are we doing this?

The  Alfred University community is full of individuals with unique identities, experiences, and stories to tell. The Human Library will provide a forum in which participants can embrace the variety of individuals who make Alfred the “magical” place it is. Rather than having community members feel a need to assimilate in order to fit in, we want to celebrate difference while also finding the “common ground” which brings our community together.

Who is the Human Library for?

The entire Alfred University community is invited to participate, as Books, Readers, or both. We hope to have as broad and diverse an array of participants as possible. Every individual has something unique which they can share as a Book, and everyone will find value in engaging as Readers.
If you are interested in being a Book, contact Brian Saltsman (