Two universities are using an event to try out a unique concept: the human library. Instead of checking out a book, readers can borrow a person for a candid conversation.

The idea of the human library originated in Copenhagen in 2000 and spread around the world. It was designed as a way to combat stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue. Think, “don't judge a book by its cover.”

Today, the libraries at Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University are collaborating and hosting their own versions. 

Organizer and Wake Forest Instruction and Outreach Librarian Hu Womack says technology and social media have started to frame how we communicate.

“This kind of situation where you can have a face-to-face conversation with another person about something maybe you don't know a lot about or about something you may not agree with and still be able to listen to that person's story, and respect their perspective is a really valuable thing to do right now,” he says.

Some of the people involved will share stories about being queer in the south, poverty, mental illness and being a first-generation American.   

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