Human Library Toolkit

A Human Library is a way for people to reach out and connect with individuals in their community that they might not normally engage with. Visitors to a library have an opportunity during a planned event to borrow Human Books and to engage in conversation with the books. Human Libraries promote tolerance, celebrate differences and encourage understanding of people who come from varied cultural or lifestyle backgrounds.

Ontario Library Association first embraced the concept of a Human Library when OLA member Sophie Gorski submitted it as a project idea for the First Annual Larry Moore Challenge Award in early 2010. The concept itself was not new but was not widespread amongst OLA member libraries.

The Human Library Committee developed a toolkit for public, post-secondary and school libraries in Ontario by gathering best practices and encouraging libraries to participate in similar events. It is hoped that such projects will increase the visibility of libraries and strengthen community partnerships. Libraries are excellent venues for holding such events as they are considered to be trusted and nonpartisan environments.

The purpose of this toolkit is to assist organizers in planning their own events. It is intended to give encouragement, support and advice to those wishing to take on the rewarding task of organizing a Human Library. As each event is unique organizers may need to adapt our suggestions to meet the demands of their individual event. 

Visit the Human Library Toolkit to access and download all the components of the toolkit for your use.