February 7, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 5

'Read a human' Sunday

Haines residents will be able to “check out” their neighbors Sunday at 1:30 p.m. as part of the second annual Human Library exhibit at the public library.

Visitors can get to know eight of their fellow Chilkat Valley residents by obtaining a Human Library card and “checking out” one of the eight “books” for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Each person, or “book,” has a title indicating something about their life and what visitors might want to ask them about. For example, one title is “Growing Up in a Kibbutz,” so patrons could ask the person about what it’s like to live in an Israeli collective community.

Jolanta Ryan, the library’s education and programs coordinator, said patrons aren’t confined to talking about the titles but can ask about anything, as long as it doesn’t make the “book” uncomfortable.

Ryan said the event “breaks down barriers in the community” by allowing people of different backgrounds to talk openly and shatter misconceptions and stereotypes. Ryan said she tried to assemble as diverse a group as possible.

The Human Library is a worldwide program that various communities implement “to break stereotypes by challenging common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner.”