The ‘Human Library’ is set for June 7

ENCINITAS — The Encinitas branch of the San Diego County Library encourages you to check out a “human book” this Sunday, as part of its “Human Library” event.

During the event, “living books,” or people who represent different groups of people, will be available to “check out” for 15-minute conversations.

Based on a concept developed in Denmark, the program helps build bridges among different groups of people, library officials said.

“Intellectual freedom is one of the foundational values of public libraries,” said Library Director José Aponte.  “Throughout history, this institution has fought tirelessly for free, unencumbered access to ideas and information, regardless of a customer’s background or beliefs.  The Human Library embodies this mission, and aims to bring the diverse community of San Diego County together at the library for meaningful dialogue and shared experiences.”

For more information, contact the Encinitas Library at

The Human Library event coincides with the library’s Pride Celebration, so several of the living books will be transgender, HIV positive and homosexual, in addition to other human exhibits such as an internment camp survivor, an undocumented youth, a person living with mental illness, a fat activist, a person with extensive body art, a Muslim convert, an American Indian and several others.

In addition, the “Beyond the Stereotype” exhibit from Cal State San Marcos — which features university students tearing photos of various racial and ethnic costume stereotypes with the text, “There is more to me than what you see. Beyond the stereotype, there is history” — will also be on display.

Library representatives in recent months have stepped up its social relations efforts, in some part as a result of tensions between library patrons and the homeless.

Branch officials have boosted their efforts in maintaining the library’s cleanliness, but also have wanted to give people the tools to interact with one another.

“We are trying to train customers how to best deal with people of all backgrounds in a respectful manner,” branch manager Sheila Crosby said in an interview in May.


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