The Human Library: Unjudge Someone

Saturday 1 Jul 2023 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

The Human Library at Essex Book Festival

We welcomed The Human Library back to Essex, as part of Essex Book Festival 2023.

Just like in a real library, a visitor to the Human Library can borrow a book from a range of titles. The difference is that books are PEOPLE, and reading is a CONVERSATION.

Books in our Human Library came from all walks of life, and each had an experience to share. ‘Readers’ came along to connect with people they wouldn’t normally meet, and celebrated positive differences in our community.

This event was organised by Essex Cultural Diversity Project in partnership with Essex Libraries and The Human Library Organisation, and was hosted by Chelmsford Library as part of Essex Book Festival. It was part of the Stand Up For Diversity series of events, initiated by Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Essex Book Festival in 2018, which brings people together to celebrate diversity in the arts and in our communities.

The Human Library

On past events…

One Reader said “I was curious about this event. I’m a highly curious person and love to find out more about others, their stories and how they came to be where they are today. Today’s conversations enabled me to consider different lived experiences, how we label people, why we insist on labeling people and importantly the richness and beauty of humanity and my neighbours.”

One Human Book said: “I have been a reader in the past, and found it enlightening, but I have to say, being a book was really emotional. I felt like I had really done some good. It’s ALL about dialogue. It’s ALL about treading in another’s shoes. I wish these events were mandatory. I truly believe it would erase racism, sexism, ableism and every other -ism if we just heard each other’s stories.”

An advert for Human Books, with the question "Do you defy a stereotype?"

Want to be Human Book ?

Do you defy a stereotype? Are you like an open book and do you have valuable experiences that readers could benefit from learning about? Are you motivated to help challenge stigma and stereotypes through dialogue and personal conversations? Then maybe we can publish you to our readers.

The Human Library Organisation is always looking for Human books for future events, building up a network of local organisers and book depots around the world, that not only recycle Human Books, but also ensure they are well kept in between events.

Being a book in the Human Library is more than you expect and something you will never forget. It is also an opportunity to meet a lot of people that are different from you and yet you will find you share a lot in common.

Sound interesting and exciting? Then contact Jo on for a chat, or fill in the online form at the Human Library Organisation’s website

our logo   ACE logo arts council         Essex Book Festival logo    Human Library logo     ECC Logo