The Living Library

So I have to admit something. I did not know about the human library until last year.  Sorry, we did not talk about this unique and wonderful concept in graduate school.  So when my mentor Twanna told me about the human library, I knew that I would want to experience this one day.

Syracuse University hosted its annual human library which had a name change to the Living Library.  The librarians at Syracuse University provided an excellent guide that gives information about the living library. Check it out:  Living Library

I was so excited to attend the Living Library event but I wanted to submit a proposal as well to be a living book.  Fortunately, my proposal was accepted.  My topic was named the Urban Suburban student.  This is what my topic was about: The Urban Suburban Program in Rochester, NY allows urban children of color to attend some of Rochester’s suburban schools. My mother applied for my entry into the program when I was in kindergarten. I was accepted into the program when I was in fifth grade. My journey was hard but rewarding. My resiliency has been refined by my experience of living in an urban area but attending school in a suburb. I want to tell you my hardships, my struggles, and most of all the lessons that I learned.

Myself and the other living books were given the opportunity to recommend books just in case people wanted to know more about our topic. So as a Librarian you know I was excited to do this.  The books that I recommended were: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, The New Reality for Suburban Schools: How Suburban Schools Are Struggling with Low-Income Students and Students of Color in Their Schools by Jessica Shiller, Savage Inequalities by Jonathon Kozol, The Shame of the Nation by Jonathon Kozol, and Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum.

Lastly, I was given the opportunity to do an interview with Syracuse University’s Shaina Hill.  I was able to talk about my experience at the event.  The event was amazing and I hope to be a part of it in the coming years. I was able to encourage and inspire students.  Check out the interview:  Learning from a Library of Living Books

Hopefully, your library can do a living library event.  I am thinking about how I can do this in my community.  Please feel free to contact me, if you have any tips or a story that you want to share! Just remember everyone has a story and you are living it for a reason so do not be afraid to share with others.  My disclaimer: only share if you feel safe with that person or if you feel ready to share your story.  Trust me I am a private person so I get protecting yourself.  I know when I have shared some of my life story that it has been a freeing experience.  Those moments were joyful because I realized how much I grew or how much I overcame.



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