The power of one on one: human libraries and the challenges of antiracism work

20 November 2012

This monograph is the first comprehensive and independent analysis of Human Libraries (formerly Living Libraries) in Australia. ‘Human Libraries’ refers to an innovative social inclusion community initiative developed in Europe that is increasingly being adopted by public libraries across Australia, and some community groups and government agencies. The report provides an overview of Human Library practices and identifies key challenges for policymakers and practitioners.

It also contributes to scholarly debates on anti-racism work and on the benefits and limits of cross-cultural contact or dialogue within that work. ‘Human Libraries Australia’ is a national strategy for connecting and strengthening local communities through one-on-one conversation between Living Books (generally people facing prejudice within a community) and Readers (members of the general public). ‘Human Libraries Australia’ is funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and actively supported by the Australian Library and Information Association. In this monograph we document the aims, history and key practices of Human Libraries in Australia, and provide discussion points for people involved.

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