Human Library - Take out a prejudice

Materials from the first Human Library at Roskilde Festival 2000

When 100.000 people gather to enjoy music, culture and food. Its a challenge to draw some attention. So in order to secure visibility for the first Human Library a variety of elements where brought into use. Among other a series of adds and street promotion posters communicating the concept, where launched. Other articles included Library Cards for readers, t-shirts for books and for readers that would manage to take out three books during the event. Guidelines for use of the Human Library where developed and handed out by a street promotion team of youngsters in the festival grounds. See more of the materials and translations from danish below.


A poster from Roskilde Festival 2008

1.Poster: Don´t judge a book by it´s cover 

In small under the english title it says "especially when its not a book". Down in the right hand corner a graphic is meant to resemble the paper in the back of Library books in Denmark. The take it out and stamp it before you can take it home. On the stamp card it has an explanatory text in Danish, it says:

"Borrow a person you normally would think you would not like. We have a wide selection of unpopular stereotypes. Everything from gays to hip hoppers to immigrants. Take a walk, have a talk or dont. Just remember to give back the person within two hours".

Stop The Violence´s "Human Library"


When youre done poster from Roskilde 2000

2 . Poster:

"When you´re done, you are guaranteed to feel like, you have just lost a friend"

Like with a really good book. Its that feeling when the last page has been turned and now its time to put it down and back on it´s shelf. This poster tries to draw the comparison, not knowing how true it would turn out to be. 


You dont even have to be able to read.3. Poster: 

"You dont even have to be able to read" 

Who ever heard of a Library where you dont have to read? This poster tries to use humor to disarm sceptics and draw attention away from fine print. Which is suppose to draw a smile, it says:

"Try and tell that to the word blind" 


Main Library

4. Poster:  

"In fact, we should be called the head library" 

Another attempt at humor because in the city of Copenhagen, the central library is litterally called "Hovedbiblioteket" which then becomes the "Head Library" in english. We can quickly say this works best in Danish. All of the elements from the Human Library carried the text at the bottom:

"Borrow a person you normally would think you would not like. We have a wide selection of unpopular stereotypes. Everything from gays to hip hoppers to immigrants. Take a walk, have a talk or dont. Just remember to give back the person within two hours".

Stop The Violence´s "Human Library"


Borrow a copy you dont wanna take to bed with you.

5. Poster:

"Borrow a copy that you don´t want take to bed with you" 

Again pulling on an old book saying. That we take a good book to bed with us to have a read before going to sleep. Some books can keep you awake in bed all night. These kind of books are not for falling a sleep with. There is a two hour deadline remember?