Friday, January 7, 2011

Checking out people... with your library card

The Toronto Public Library has apparently a program where you can check people out. No, seriously. You can use your library card to borrow a person for half an hour, to talk to them.

The concept is called a human library; it started in Europe about a decade ago. You have volunteers - living books - who agree to be checked out to anyone who wants to talk to them. It's designed to help people deal with and get rid of their prejudices. You talk to someone who you think you judge, someone who you stereotype, someone you pigeonhole - and instead meet a real, normal, person.

I think it's incredibly cool. Hat tip to the Connecticut children librarian's listserve, Goodnightmoon.

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