Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 17, 2017—Williams College invites all members of the community to experience the Human Library on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Paresky Student Center. This is a free, interactive event, and reservations are not required.
The Williams College Human Library holds almost 40 “books”: students, staff, faculty and members of the community who volunteer to spend 30 minutes sharing their unique story and engage in a one-on-one conversation with each “reader.” Together the book and reader discuss their experiences and exchange questions.
Now entering its sixth year hosting the event, Williams’ Human Library is placing a particular emphasis this year on titles that “evoke stereotypes.” The purpose of the Human Library is to address these stereotypes through conversation. Among the many “books” this year are Home Schooled, Parenting Schizophrenia, Pro-life – the Safest Space, and Libertarian. Designed to spark important dialogue, the aim of this project is to reduce prejudice and encourage deeper understanding among people with different perspectives.
The Human Library project was founded in Denmark in 2001 as part of a self-initiated non-governmental youth movement called “Stop the Violence.” The 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.” It is an innovative project that is typically organized by municipal libraries, and has a broader international community including Australia, Lithuania, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. In 2012, Williams College became the first to host the Human Library Project in Massachusetts and has been hosting the event annually ever since.
The Gaudino Fund and the Human Library Committee, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students, sponsor Williams’ Human Library. Please contact Lois Banta ([email protected]) with questions.
For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map