The Human Library in Muncie
The work to bring the Human Library to Muncie, Indiana began in May 2019, when the new book depot manager took part in the first training session hosted in Indianapolis by the Human Library Organisation.
Six months later, 40 books are now sitting in the interim book depot at Oakhurst Gardens, ready to be published for the first time. All of them have volunteered to be an open book about their own group in the community. A source for important and often very personal information. The sort you cannot easily access through an online search.
To be an open book
They are here to use their knowledge, to give their answers, to share their truth about something that often has stigmatized them on their life journey or posted a tremendous challenge for them to overcome. Today is an opportunity for some of the Books to convert often painful learnings into something positive. Something that can work to the benefit of someone else and the community. Waiting for readers are topics like Transgender, Police Officer, Refugee, Victim of abusive parents, Disabled, Depression and many more.
Readers from the get-go
Hosting a stand alone event in a venue away from a natural traffic of potential readers, can be a real test. But at this event our readers where there from the get-go, ready to dive in and start finding answers to difficult questions. The conversations went on through the day and the front desk registered over 65 loans over the afternoon.
Very different yet so very similar
A quick look around in the book depot and you cannot help but notice the incredible diversity present in the room. People from different ethnic backgrounds, different religious beliefs, different social backgrounds and some with disabilities. All coming together with many others and in all of our differences, at that moment, it was very obvious how incredibly similar we all are.
The books from the Muncie Human Library soon learned, that they have a very strong common bond. A bond in their ability to show and share some of the most vulnerable or stigmatizing circumstances in their life, while possessing the strength to face and overcome the challenges.
Son of a book made event film
At the end of the day, a round of evaluation was carried out, as it should be after each event. To ensure that all books are still in mint condition and that everyone had a good experience. Each book shared their thoughts on the event and their meeting with readers. Most expressed a clear desire to be published again and said the conversations had a very positive impact on all parties involved.
One of the books brought her son, Tre, a skilled SoMe content producer and he made a film from the day featuring some of the books and readers. Watch the clip below and it will almost seem like you were there.