The Human Library facilitates dialogue and social contact that can challenge prejudice.
The Human Library is an international movement that was created in Denmark in 2000 and is now active in over 70 countries. Following its UK launch in 2008, The Outsiders have delivered over 95 events, making us the most active and experienced Human Library Organisers in the country. We deliver events to commission on behalf of local authorities, businesses, schools and charities, and also train Human Library Organisers in the UK and Europe.
In 2011 we created the Human Library UK website which we manage on behalf of the Human Library Organisation. We have put years of learning and thinking about the methodology into the Human Library UK site, aiming to provide guidance on the principles and practice of the Human Library, together with free resources for organisations and individuals wishing to deliver events on a limited budget.
The Outsiders offered a refreshing learning opportunity which challenged perceptions and the way things are done in organisations and our daily lives. The time to reflect and connect with others was valued by participants, as well as identifying assumptions in a positive and safe environment. Nick and Oz were calm, organised and welcoming to all…go ahead, the human library is well worth a browse.
Nadia Jones, Policy Officer, Norwich City Council
Take Out Your Prejudice!
Just like in a real library, a visitor to the Human Library can choose a Book from a range of titles. The difference is that Books are people, and reading is a conversation. The Human Library provides a safe environment for people to engage in conversation within a framework of respect, and with the permission to respectfully ask questions and share experiences.
In practice, the Human Library celebrates the diversity and positive differences within our communities. It raises awareness of many different reasons people may experience exclusion, and takes positive action to address some of the issues that can lead to bullying, abuse and hate crime. Book titles deliberately acknowledge and provoke the assumptions or common prejudices that we – or society – may have. Readers are empowered to choose from a broad range of titles, and challenged to engage with the people behind the labels during short and respectful conversation.
The Outsiders have always been a pleasure to work with. They are each gifted communicators who work extremely well with staff, partners and members of the public. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they are flexible, sensitive and responsive whether offering advice, designing and delivering training or supporting/ facilitating event planning and delivery. They were an absolutely invaluable part of our success delivering Human Libraries in Glasgow.
Aileen Strachan, Research Manager (Learning and Audiences), Glasgow Life
Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
The Human Library is a proven model to offer as part of equality and diversity initiatives and celebrations or as a diversity training event, either for internal or external beneficiaries. We provide events and training to commission and have worked with a wide range of organisations including Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Schools, Charities, the Police and Universities.
Our event package includes:
- Volunteer recruitment and training.
- Management of a Human Library event in the workplace or in a public setting.
- A full evaluative report.
- Follow-up interviews (optional).
Our training packages are:
- An Introduction to the Human Library (1 day).
- Human Library Organiser training (2 or 3 days).
Contact Us for more information.
The opportunity to work with The Outsiders in bringing the Human Library into a high school setting has given many of our students a profound learning experience which has deepened their understanding of prejudice and discrimination. They have helped us to reflect on our ethos and values and to achieve our ambition of being genuinely inclusive. Their wide experience of organising Human Library events in different settings and their confidence in the potential of the Human Library movement to change lives has made them excellent partners. Nick and Oz have worked enthusiastically with our students in interactive assemblies, student discussion groups and workshops all of which have helped to build the high level of trust necessary for this type of work.
Tim Phillips, Headteacher, Acle Academy