The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW speaker promotes Human Library

By — Erica McComas

A University of North Texas research associate professor advocated for diversity in libraries Nov. 11 on NW Campus. 

As the final event for NW’s Golden Jubilee speaker series, Spencer D.C. Keralis presented Human Library: Libraries and the Politics of Radical Inclusion. Keralis talked about changing libraries around the world to fit every kind of person regarding sexuality, language, religion and belief.

He said he was not just some man talking about diversity but both an advocate and an ally for a number of different communities with personal experience growing up a gay man in Wyoming.

The Human Library was created in 2000 at the Roskilde Music Festival by a group of Danish activists. It was formed in response to a violent hate crime, Keralis said.

“Unfortunately, that is where most of our activism comes from,” he said.

It usually takes acts of violence and hate to prompt more communities to engage in educating and learning about marginalized and stigmatized communities, Keralis said.

The idea of the Human Library was to facilitate the use of language and conversation to challenge prejudice and reduce risk of tension and violence that has formed around the music festival. This program has steadily grown around the world and, after 15 years, is in around 70 countries.

The Human Library is an international equality movement that challenges prejudice through social contact.

Instead of books, the Human Library involves people engaged in conversation asking questions, sharing experiences and showing respect. The Human Library celebrates diversity and positive differences of communities so people can address some of the issues that can lead to bullying, abuse and hate crime, Keralis said.

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