A book with us is a person that volunteered to represent a stigmatized group in the community and based on their personal experiences can answer questions from readers to help challenge what is being said/told/understood about a given topic. To help shed light on the facts as you know them. Books are not political or on a mission when with us, but rather able to surrender to the agenda of the reader and allow them control of the conversation.
First, decide if you think this is something for you. Then fill in our online application form and tell us why you would like to meet readers and what experiences you have to share. Then an interview will follow and if all seems like a good fit, then you will be invited to a training for new books. After completing the training then together we will assess your publishing potential and if all is well, we will begin to invite you to the events hosted by your local book depot. And naturally you need to be motivated to answer questions from strangers and have patience and empathy and you need to attend the training before you can be published.
Ideally, you can spare at least one day a month. Either to be part of Human Library events or activities relating to our social programs (reading corners, summer get together and the annual Human Library Book Awards).
We have published people in more than 80 countries for almost 20 years. So allow us to help you sort out your content and reader appeal. Just like a publishing house we will not publish material that we do not have readers for. Any doubts or questions, remember we are always there to help you.
No, we are not able to pay any kind of compensation for the hours. To be a book is a 100% volunteer function and beyond the lack of means, it is also a question of credibility. We do not believe readers will have the same confidence in the library if books were paid to be there. Books need to be motivated primarily by the chance to speak/explain/clarify/diversify the views and ideas about the group in the community that they represent on the bookshelf.
Typically the conditions for participating in each event will be clearly stated on the event invitation. Some events will demand transportation, all costs relating to travel and hospitality, is normally something we are able to cover. However, this will always be clear from the invitation.
You get to be part of the most diverse group in the community. You get to meet and learn about people that will inspire you and lift you and give your network new life. Perhaps make new friends and for sure you will gain insight into what others think, believe and dream of. You will become rich on humanity and you may gain a greater understanding of yourself also. Part of the rewards in this work is realising that the only thing that is not reduced when shared, is knowledge.
Our friendly librarians and your book depot manager are always there to help you and make sure you are kept in mint condition. They are there to ensure that you have a good experience every time you are published.
The ‘Rules for readers’are simple, respect the book, be curious, bring the book back on time and in the same condition it was given to you. Both parties have the right to end the loan at any time.
Each book depot has its own local statutes regulating any membership fees. In principle, we try to provide conditions where members do not have to contribute with any other resources but time. However, in some countries and states, the local legislation demands that members pay an annual fee. Normally this is a very symbolic amount as we want everyone to be able to contribute with their knowledge.
Events will take place at schools, libraries, universities, conferences, festivals and public spaces. Some will be on weekdays other events typically on weekends. We understand that most people cannot contribute on weekdays in the daytime. You should receive invitations at least some weeks in advance.
You only have to attend the events that you have time for and where your presence is requested. We cannot publish all of our books at all events. But once you have said you are coming and your depot has confirmed you, then yes. The agreements with our venue partners are based on your commitment and we need to be able to count on you. Failure to show up at events impact the quality and experience of the other books and our readers.
The idea of having a group of readers or going to a festival with a lot of people around me, makes me anxious. Do I have to do it?
Absolutely not. We do not expect anyone to join any event that they are not comfortable with. Some prefer smaller events with one on one conversations and others are more keen on the group format. Our events offer a variety of publishing formats and settings, and as such, it is always up to you to decide which formats and settings you feel comfortable with. If you are not comfortable then neither will your readers be.