Glad You Asked: Human Library coming to Orange Branch


This spring the Orange Branch Library is joining a worldwide movement for social change by hosting our first ever Human Library event. The Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. It’s a place where real people are on loan to readers and where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered.

At a Human Library event, you might have a conversation with a soldier suffering from PTSD or a refugee, a man living with HIV or a young single mother. Open and honest conversations can lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community.

The Orange Branch Library is seeking adults willing to participate and share their stories as human “books” on Saturday, April 21, 2018 as part of our Human Library event. Our hope is that open and honest conversation will allow for those involved to have a deeper understanding of others within our shared community.

We ask for a minimum commitment of 2 hours from the human books to provide for 4 “checkouts” at a half-hour each. We will be accepting volunteer inquiries until December 31, 2017.

Do you have a story to tell? Please contact Amee Sword, [email protected] or 740-549-2665, if you would like to volunteer or have any questions. Learn more about the Human Library program at

While you wait for the event, consider reading any of these titles about real people and their stories.

“Real American: A Memoir” by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Shares the story of the author’s biracial upbringing in an America where ubiquitous and socially accepted racist norms constantly challenged her self-esteem, and offers her perspectives on the healing power of community.

“The Rules Do Not Apply” by Ariel Levy. A “New Yorker” staff writer shares a hopeful memoir of her own experiences with devastating loss to council fellow survivors about the healing aspects of accepting difficult life challenges that are beyond one’s control.

“Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening” by Manal Al-Sharif. A memoir by a Saudi Arabian woman who became the unexpected leader of a movement to support women’s rights describes how fundamentalism influenced her radical religious beliefs until her education, a job, and legal contradictions changed her perspectives.

“My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward” by Mark Lukach. A memoir of a young marriage that is defined by mental illness describes how the author’s wife suffered mysterious psychotic breaks on either side of having a child, examining how the challenges of mental illness raise profound questions about love and responsibility.

By Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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