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Human Library @ Skyline College Library

Welcome, Books!

Thank you for volunteering for the Human Library!


Below are some Guidelines for Books and Conversation Starters to browse before your Human Library session.

When you're ready to join the Human Library session on April 24, you'll click on the Zoom link that was emailed to you by Pia Walawalkar. Additional instructions are here. 

After you join, you'll be welcomed and placed in a breakout room with your first Reader.

Questions? Please contact Pia Walawalkar at

Guidelines for Books

How does a human library work? What's my role as a Book?

The purpose of the human library is to bring people together who may have never talked otherwise.

The "Books" in the library are real people with real stories to tell. If you are a Book, Readers will sit down to listen and learn from you. You'll be asked to give your story a title and brief description in advance. Readers will review and select the Books that interest them.

How do these conversations work?

On April 24, you and your Reader will connect to the Zoom session. A moderator will greet and connect you. (There may be a few minutes wait time. We're new at this, too!)

You'll have 20-30 minutes to tell your story and enjoy a dialog with each of your Readers. You can take a break between Readers. To keep in mind: 

  • Be yourself!  Be honest and open, and talk and listen with care.
  • As your Reader(s) borrowed your Book specifically for your topic, you'll want to begin with that topic. 
  • Every Reader borrowing you will be different, and the reason for choosing your Book can vary.
  • “Why did you choose my Book?” is a good way to begin the discussion. This will give you a first impression of the Reader’s interests.
  • Lastly, be ready to share your personal experiences. However, if questions become too personal, feel free to decline to answer or end the session.

Is someone going to record this?

No one will be recording your story. We want Books and Readers to feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

The content of the discussion with your Readers is, in principle, confidential. If you quote from other Readers, just don't mention their names.

Do I need to bring something written?

Nothing is required from Books besides a story and the courage to tell it! But you're welcome to have notes if it makes you feel more comfortable.

What role will the Readers play?

The Readers will have the opportunity to engage with multiple Books. The Readers will listen to a Book's story, ask questions, chat, and then go to the next Book.



The goal of this event is to encourage constructive questions and dialogue. If the dialogue veers in an uncomfortable direction and you are unable to steer it back into a more comfortable zone, please ask Human Library staff for assistance or end the conversation.