Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 12, 2018—Williams College is seeking volunteers for its seventh annual Human Library, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Paresky student center.
Founded in 2001 in Denmark, the Human Library seeks to promote human rights and social cohesion by creating greater understanding between people. It provides an opportunity for people to learn more about each other while working through stereotypes and discrimination. The event has been held at Williams annually since 2012.
A Human Library consists of volunteers who act as “books” that can be “checked out” by “readers.” Each book decides on a title that gives a snapshot of their story: “A Triple Minority in Trump’s America,” “From Wall Street to East Harlem,” or “My 150 pound weight loss journey,” for instance. The book and reader engage in a 30-minute one-on-one conversation about the book’s life and experience, and then the book can ask questions of the reader as well, prompting discussion about shared experiences and differing perspectives. As a central goal of the Human Library is to reduce prejudice through dialog, the project welcomes stories from people in the process of change, or who are willing to share how their thinking has evolved.
If you are interested in volunteering as a book, please fill out the Human Library Participant Information Form no later than Jan. 20 at sites.williams.edu/humanlibrary/become-a-book. If you have questions, please contact Lois Banta by email at [email protected] or by phone at 413-597-4330.
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.