A look at the Human Library book depot in Perth, Australia
The Human Library has had a presence in Perth, Western Australia, for several years via a number of one-off events, but up until now there has been no lasting presence or book depot. The last event was held as part of Harmony Day celebrations in the City of Melville at Willagee Library on 16 March, 2013.
And once again, Harmony Week will see the return of the Human Library to Perth, but this time we are back to develop a long-term presence and work is underway to fill up the bookshelf of the Perth Human Library Book Depot.
The Book Depot is the place where we keep all of our books stored in between events. You could say they are waiting to be published. It is not a physical space, but rather a virtual space, where we keep the community together and continuously work to expand our collection of litterature.
With a full book depot our local organizers are able to easily draw on those resources and swiftly organize a Human Library with a broad scope in topics available and high quality books on the bookshelf.
The return of the Human Library to Perth and the establishing of the Perth Book Depot is made possible with support from the City of South Perth and our partners at the South Perth Library.
The librarians at South Perth Library have already completed their training to take on their role of Human Librarians. Even members of the library team who will not take an active role in the event have completed the training, so that they can have an appreciation for the aims and purpose of Human Library and be able to inform patrons about what the Human Library is.
On Thursday 11 February 2016, nine volunteers completed their training and are now only few steps away from being published in the Human Library. All of them very enthusiastic about their roles as Human Books and full of confidence after the trainings at South Perth Library.
In addition to the nine “first editions” there are another ten potential bestsellers that have expressed an interest in taking part in future book training sessions.
The current group of books are still developing their titles and content descriptions but they include topics the transgender, the refugee, a muslim, a pansexual, a musician, living with mental health challenges and illness, an atheist, a homosexual, a person living with an invisible illness, searching to understand your identity and a title about living with cerebral palsy. All of these great people will be ready to meet their readers and answer questions by March 20th when the Perth Human Library will occur as part of the City of Perth’s Fiesta.
The Fiesta is an annual street festival to celebrate life in South Perth. It will take place on Sunday 20 March from about 10am to 2pm, although there is a chance that it may run longer. Bookings can be made by phoning the South Perth Library (08 9474 0800) or bookings will also be available on the day if the books have not already been reserved.
Anyone interested in learning more about joining the Human Library Perth´s Book Depot is free to contact Mr. Greg Watson, the co-ordinator of Perth Human Library and the Australian contact for the HLO.