Imagine a library with no Dewey Decimal System, no librarians and no books. It's the Human Library, and its concept is simple: Instead of checking out a book, you check out a person, aka a "human book." The human book tells the "reader" about his or her unique life experiences, and the book and reader share a conversation.
The Human Library Organization started in Denmark in 2000 as a response to a violent hate crime. According to Human Library U.K., the project was designed to foster conversations with different people that will "challenge prejudice, thereby reducing the risk of tension and violence." Since its inception, the Human Library has since expanded to chapters in more than 70 countries.
The Human Library has held events at music festivals (like the Roskilde Festival, pictured, the site of the first Human Library), college campuses and even regular libraries. ("Regular libraries" sounds a little weird. Book libraries? Non-human libraries? Oh, well, you get the idea.)
Though its human books tell their own stories, the Human Library encourages active and engaging conversations rather than storytelling, according to theHuman Library U.K.Books are encouraged to ask as many questions as readers, challenging readers to learn as much about themselves as they learn about the books.