Living Library comes to RU

Stories will come to life in McConnell Library when it hosts the first Radford University Living Library on Sept. 22.

The event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will offer members of the RU community the chance to have a conversation with living “Books on Loan,” each of which has a unique story to tell.

"The Living Library is an international program with one goal in mind: to help people connect to one another," said Alyssa Archer, McConnell instruction librarian and event organizer. "Through conversations, visitors to the Living Library can listen to another person’s experience in a safe space."

The books at the Living Library are real people; volunteers who want to share their perspectives, experiences and life stories. Some of the stories the books will tell involve growing up in the country, feeling like a citizen of two countries and recovering from a car accident. Others deal with a variety of life-changing topics such religion, feminism, depression and art.

A full list of the books can be found on the McConnell Library website.

The first Living Library, also called a Human Library, took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a social initiative to promote understanding and discourage violence among Danish youth. Since then, events have been held around the world to connect people with one another.

"We hope that participants come away with a stronger realization that, if we treat one another with mutual respect and understanding, we can work on bridging our differences," Archer said.

The Office of the Provost is supporting this event with an essay contest. Members of the Living Library will award two students $250 prizes for post-event reflective essays. More information on the essay contest will be available following the event on its Facebook page.

This Living Library is sponsored by McConnell Library, The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, The Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Women’s Studies, Peace Studies and the Office of the Provost.

Sep 16, 2014