top of page

McMaster Human Library

THBC's first Human Library event was held on April 4, 2019! Readers were able to sign up to "read" Human Books, where the Human Books were able to share their story. Readers and Human Books had meaningful one-on-one conversations that lasted approximately 30 minutes, emphasizing the power of dialogue. THBC is currently planning our next Human Library event, coming soon!

What's a Human Book?

Human books are what make the Human Library "Human". Humans Books are people who come from all walks of life. Volunteering at this event means that they can raise awareness, dispel myths, exchange knowledge, debate, share experiences, or provide emotional and moral strength to those in similar situations. Nonetheless, the Human Book not only shares a part of themselves but also learns and receives a part of the “reader” as well.

What's a Reader?

Readers are those who decide to reciprocate their time and dive deeper into the stories of a fellow human being. Just like in any library with books, readers are expected to be respectful with the human books that they engage with. In the process, readers will leave with inspiration, hopefulness, strength, and novel wisdom. However, unlike your conventional library, this library is ‘alive’  - so silence is definitely prohibited!

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away—Copenhagen, Denmark, if we’re being precise here—there was a group called “Stop the Violence” that wanted to preach ideas of anti-violence through the power of dialogue. They created a special platform called The Human Library. Since 2000, this initiative has been gaining traction and now has become an international movement. The people in Copenhagen thought they were onto something and so, they started the Human Library Organization. 


Today, the Human Library is a worldwide organization that advocates for social change through a single focus—challenging your everyday stereotypes.More specifically, the organization has the vision to create a space for human books, which are people who are willing to tell their story, coming from all walks of life and be able to be borrowed and read by fellow readers. It’s a place for conversation; a way to challenge prejudice through dialogue.

To learn more about the Human Library Organization, watch the video below, or visit their website at:

What is the Human Library

Human Book Synopses from our Human Library 2019! 

Total: 13 

Anchor 1

Book Title: Johnny Knoxville Turned Me Gay

Fat, anxious, awkward. Navigating my teenage years in the early 2000's wasn't exactly fun. All of that changed after I watched one episode of MTV's "Jackass". The power of seeing a shirtless southern man getting tasered.

Book Title:

Becoming Well Re(a)d

Come along on a journey from a disenfranchised "Kanienkehaka" Mohawk man growing up in the East End of Hamilton finding his own way travelling in two canoes.  One canoe is his "red" canoe, learning traditional values of his people, while balancing within the "read" canoe along his journey in Western Education at McMaster, where opportunities offered him a new way of living through education, relocating back to his Reserve, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Book Title:

Broken Bones

"Disability, not disabled." Growing up with an invisible disability had ups and downs. You didn't have people staring, however you had people questioning if you really had a disability. This is a story of growing up and living with mild cerebral palsy.

Book Title: Christian Girl in the 21st Century

In an increasingly secular society, it can be easy to lose your faith. Yet somehow —it's made my faith stronger. Join me on a journey of skepticism, love, and humility, as I share my story with you today (or whenever our paths happen to cross in this thing we call life).

Book Title: Genetic risk: a family marked for cancer

Genetic testing is providing us with the opportunity, for the first time, to learn what possible health risks the future has in store. My family was one of the early ones to go through the process of finding out that we had a genetic risk for a serious disease. If you could look into the (genetic) future - would you?

Book Title: Where you end and I begin

The concept of healthy boundaries is often elusive and not understanding it lead me, an unassuming Christian woman, down a self-destructive path when I became involved in a very toxic intimate relationship. Now as a survivor, I want to share with you what I have learned and how I believe we can all work towards having healthier relationships and healthier lives!

Book Title: Home?

If you showed me a map and asked me to point to home I would choose multiple locations. Life has been unique and inconsistent. Where will I go next?

Book Title:

The Outsider

In terms of my story, I am "The Outsider". I moved to New Brunswick from my hometown of Ottawa when I was six. Since then, I have been on the outside looking in. However, due to my closed door and kind nature, I don't think anyone would ever guess how lonely I feel sometime. Hopefully, this event will allow me to break down some walls of mine

Book Title:

The "sweet" life in debt

You know what they say about a car wreck, where it’s so awful you can’t look away? That statement pretty much sums up my entire life. My story involves all the things that accompany living in an abusive household with a yearly income less than $15000 for 5 members. It involves drugs, cancer, crime, and a whole lotta chaos.

Book Title:

Highly Sensitive Person

Have you ever heard the words "you're so dramatic?" and just rubbed you the wrong way? What do you do when you're surrounded by people with no hearts and it seems as if you're the only one who feels all the feels? What if emotions are not a liability, but an asset? Come and explore the power of emotions.

Book Title:

The Gift of Pain

When your own body betrays you, you feel a loneliness like no other. When your own immune system fails, how can you expect anything to protect you? Rare diseases exist and deserve to be heard.

Book Title:

This too shall pass

See you at the Human Library!

bottom of page