Nothing defeats fear like a face.
The Human Library is an initiative for social change based on the power of a person’s story. It is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and reduce stigma through dialogue.
We believe people, like books, are rich sources of knowledge with the ability to change the lives of those who engage with them. Similar to the way a reader learns and grows through reading a book, folks listening to a community member’s life experience learn and grow.
With the Human Library, we organize events where people share their experiences living with and in recovery from behavioral health issues with individuals and community groups. The name Human Library comes from a project started in Denmark that has grown tremendously as people invest in the power of people’s stories.
Building a Human Library
Thanks to the generous support of the Staunton Farm Foundation, we are building a human library comprised of the stories of people living with behavioral health conditions and stories of their family members and support networks.
Through this project we will:
• Present the breadth of behavioral health.
• Learn, support, and educate our broader community.
• Name and challenge stigma too often associated with behavioral health concerns.
• Educate and activate people to share their personal stories.
Do you want to share your story?
We welcome people who have been impacted by behavioral health conditions to express their experience.
Story tellers will:
• Receive training on how to tell their story with passion, purpose, and precision.
• Share their stories of strength and the journey toward and living in recovery.
• Educate, listen, and engage in conversation with our shared community.
• Be supported by fellow story tellers and the CHC Human Library Community.
• Through the power of story, decrease stigma around behavioral health.
Do you want to hear a story?
We are seeking organizations, faith groups, community groups, businesses, government agencies, schools, and universities to listen and engage. We can organize a Human Library event for your group, and you can choose what story to hear from our catalog of sharers.
We host Human Library events that are open to the public. Visit our events page to see upcoming Human Library events.
Please contact our Human Library Organizer if you have any questions about being a sharer or a listener–educating and confronting fear and stigma all with the power of narrative and dialogue.
Human Library in the News
“What is a human library and how can you be part of it?” from Next Pittsburgh
“‘Human Library’ event in East Liberty sparks dialogue on behavioral” from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette