Willard Library will present a Human Library on June 27 and is seeking volunteers willing to share their life experiences.

A Human Library is a place where people, or human books, are on loan to readers for brief conversations. The idea is that through dialogue, readers gain insights that dispel common stereotypes about the people they meet.

Michael McCullough, one of the librarians organizing the event, said the library is looking for volunteers who have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference, gender identity, disability or any other aspect of their lives.

“We’re very excited to be hosting Battle Creek’s first Human Library,” McCullough said. “We believe that by providing a forum for positive, personal dialogue, we can encourage new ways of thinking, celebrate our differences and build a stronger community.”

The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 27 at Willard Library, 7 W. Van Buren St., Battle Creek. The library will accept applications through March 20 and will invite 12 to 15 books to participate.

Volunteers selected for the event will participate in an orientation workshop at 6 p.m. on April 16 to help them prepare. The library will provide other opportunities for practice on request.

“It is very important to us that our books feel safe and supported,” McCullough said. “Sharing personal experiences, especially with strangers, can be difficult. Our top priority is to manage an event that is positive for all involved.”

Willard Library’s event is licensed by The Human Library Project. The nonprofit based in Copenhagen, Denmark, created the first event in 2000 and has since sanctioned more than 600 Human Libraries in 80 countries.

Anyone interested in being a book or learning more may contact McCullough at 269-441-9417 or fill out a form at tinyurl.com/WLHumanLibraryForm.

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