PuSh Blog

Human Library pops up in Vancouver as satellites

November 14, 2013

human library conversations from 2013 PuSh FestivalYou sift through titles. One piques your interest. You sign it out from the library. Only this book is much longer and more complex than a few hundred pages – it’s living, breathing and it’s got a lot of heart. Because you’ve checked out a human book as part of Human Library, an initiative designed to help foster conversation as a means to fight hate, prejudice and misunderstanding in communities.

The Human Library Organization emerged in 2000 in Copenhagen and has taken the world by storm, first premiering in Vancouver at last year’s PuSh Festival. It became a runaway hit, with hundreds of patrons checking out human books and expanding their minds. The project became so busy that we had to turn people away in droves. People clearly wanted to chat. They were curious, they were inquisitive and they were ready to be challenged. And we challenged them with titles like “Cultural Pirate”, “Sex Therapist”, “Born Again Christian”, even “Queer Islamophobe”, and started conversations that continued well beyond the 20 minute conversations between our books and the patrons checking them out.

So I thought what if we could bring these titles elsewhere instead of people having to travel to the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library – what about smaller branches in other parts of the city. Surely people want to have conversations everywhere – we are a city striving to connect. Through conversations with the amazing staff of VPL we are thrilled to be presenting satellite versions of Human Library over the next four Sundays, starting this Sunday November 15 at the Dunbar Branch. We will have four Human Books from last year’s library to stimulate and challenge readers and help everyone gear up for the larger Human Library project in the 2014 Festival.

Join us at the Dunbar Branch of the Vancouver Public Library (4515 Dunbar Street) this Sunday from 1-5 pm. Come check out a book and chat with me, the Human Library curator, about the project as a whole — who knows, maybe you will become a book yourself!


Dave Deveau
Human Library Curator
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


Future HUman Library satellite dates:

Vancouver Public Library (Human Library hours are 1:00PM–5:00PM):
Free admission

Dunbar Branch – November 17
South Hill Branch – November 24
Champlain Branch – December 1
Mount Pleasant Branch – December 8