The Living Library

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What do a Gay Teen, a Politician, an Alcoholic, an Old Lady, and a Buddhist have in common? (No, this isn’t a joke.) They’re all titles of “books” to be “checked out” from the Living Library, an organization that lends human “books” in an effort to combat prejudice by hosting events that encourage one-on-one learning about others with different beliefs and lifestyles.

Beth Riggs, who has been an Atheist book, told Conscious Choice (Jan. 2009), “You can’t just walk up to someone in a café who’s wearing hijab and start asking questions.”

Developed in Europe, the project spread globally, with Michigan recently becoming the fifth state to hold an event—at which, the organization reports, “The Muslim was constantly busy. We had to take him out of circulation just so he could grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.” Even more reason to renew your library card.