Human Library

Imagine a library where books are people and reading is a conversation...

The Town of Stratford's Diversity and Inclusion committee, in partnership with the Stratford Public Library, are pleased to introduce a Human Library event as part of the Town's Fall Fest celebrations.

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Cotton Park (57 Bunbury Road)

What is a Human Library?
During a Human Library event, "readers" will be able to borrow "human books" to have an informal conversation. The event is an opportunity for individuals to connect with people they would not normally have the opportunity to speak to within their community, to learn from others, to better understand the life experiences of others, and in some cases, to challenge their own assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes.

Who are the Human Books?
The "human books" participating at the event will be volunteers who have been identified by an affiliated association/organization, the Town of Stratford, or perhaps self-identified as a 'book title' based on their life experiences and expertise, race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, ability/disability, or by a particular life experience (for example, "Living with Chronic Disease", a Veteran or a resident with a unique employment background etc.)

Sign out a 'human book'!
Below is a list of "book titles and summaries" to help you with your choice of books. The event is scheduled between 2-4pm. Please send an email to [email protected] with the book title(s) you would like to sign out by 12pm (noon) on Friday, September 22, 2023 and we will respond with an email including the time you will be able to "borrow" them. We encourage you to book in advance as limited walk-ins will be available. Each session will be a 10 minute conversation with the book of your choice.

  • Immigrating to Canada: The Leap of Faith
    Moving to a new country has many challenges, but mostly so for middle-aged and older migrants; language barriers, new social norms, culture shock and the list goes on. Discover the human story behind immigration!
  • Mental Health Is Health and Wealth
    Mental health affects EVERYONE, but did you know people of colour face greater disparities in getting help? Understanding mental health through racial lens opens up conversations for inclusive support strategies.
  • The Green Thumb: Fall and Winter
    Think winter is for staring out the window? NO. There’s plenty to do still to prepare for a productive garden next year! Tips, advice, to-dos…so much to cram in during this short session that you might end up asking for a repeat!
  • Children’s book author
    Keeping your inner child alive opens your world to imagination and dream. Let this published and award-winning author take you to her world of seeing through the eyes of a child!
  • Transgender Parent: Finding Yourself while Raising Children
    Transitioning later in life and as a parent means learning how to navigate the intricacies of parenthood while finding one’s identity. Finding experiences and validation can come in uncommon areas such as tabletop roleplaying games and boardgames, helping the family process the change happening in their lives and emerge stronger.
  • European Travels
    Hop on a fun storytelling of this age-old continent through a personal travel story. Laugh at funny anecdotes, learn about curious places, and enjoy a moment of “détente” from the day-to-day busyness of life!
  • From Brazil to Canada: Our Entrepreneurial Journey
    Imagine coming to a foreign land and developing an innovative business concept that wins you a major award and recognition, catapulting your business to the forefront of green technology. Embark on this south-to-north entrepreneurial journey!

Background information

The Human Library concept originated in Europe where it is also known as a Living Library. It was developed by a Danish youth non-governmental organization called Stop the Violence in an effort to counter violence based on discrimination. The success of the concept has led to endorsement by the Nordic Minister Council, the Council of Europe, and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Human library events have been held in countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States. On PEI, the Charlottetown Learning Library has held a Human Library, a relatively new concept for many on the island, while the upcoming event will be a first for Stratford. More information about the origins of the Human Library and its spread around the world is available at and