Williams College Seeks New "Books" for Sixth Annual Human Library Project

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 11, 2017—Williams College is seeking “books” for its sixth annual Human Library, taking place on Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Paresky student center.

Founded in 2001 in Denmark, The Human Library project aims to “promote human rights and social cohesion… create greater understanding between people… and provide a safe space where people can learn more about each other and work through stereotypes and discrimination present in our community in order to ultimately forge new connections between people.” The Human Library event has been held at Williams annually since 2012.

A Human Library has “books” and “readers,” all of whom are, as the name suggests, human. Each book volunteers to share a personal story about a topic related to stereotypes and discrimination. Readers “check out” books with titles such as “Buddhist,” “Growing up in the Jim Crow South,” “Interracial Family,” or “Recovering Alcoholic,” for 30 minutes and participates in a one-on-one conversation about the book’s life and experiences. The book can also ask questions of the reader, prompting further discussion about shared experiences and differing perspectives. To engage in these discussions, each reader must sign a form agreeing to respect each book.

Individuals with stories they would like to share are encouraged to volunteer. This year, the project is looking to add new titles to add to the collection such as Refugee, Parenting Autism, Orphan, Home Schooled, Teen Parent, NRA Member, Homeless, PTSD, Brain Damaged, Addict, Convert, Eating Disorder, Polyamorous, Anti-Vaxxer, Trump Supporter, etc.  To volunteer as a book, fill out the Become a Book form (http://sites.williams.edu/humanlibrary/become-a-book/) no later than Feb. 1. To suggest someone else as a book, fill out the form Suggest a Book (http://sites.williams.edu/humanlibrary/suggestions/).
For more information on the Human Library at Williams, see the Human Library web site (http://sites.williams.edu/humanlibrary/). If you have questions, please contact Lois Banta by email at [email protected] or by phone at 413-597-4330.

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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