Human Library success for International Women’s Day

15 March 2016

Student hands a book to the librarian

As part of International Women’s Day, another Human Library took place on 9 March 2016.

Staff and students from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Westminster Business School and Human Resources became ‘borrowers’ taking self-titled human ‘books’ off the shelves for an engaging 30 minutes of conversation. With titles that included “Work-Life Balance of a Busy Mother”, “Struggles of a Sikh Girl in Modern Society” and “Eastern European Activist: Stories and Frustrations”, there was enough good reading to rival Waterstones!

New Cavendish Library training rooms were again transformed into a café-style setting by Ida Kwan, Senior Academic Liaison Librarian and her team. Feedback from participating staff and students confirmed the success of the event.

Dr Kathryn Waddington, Head of Psychology, said of her experience as a borrower: “It made me question my assumptions and values and, as a result, I have plans for an academic paper!” A student book reported: “It was great to express my beliefs and explain how different aspects of modern society have an impact on my religious beliefs”. The resounding chorus from participants was: “when is the next one?!”

Using the power of dialogue, the Human Library was established in 2000 to encourage courageous and respectful conversations about lived experiences of prejudice, discrimination, bias and stereotype. With a diverse staff and student population, the Psychology department will continue to hold these events and invites collaborative Human Libraries with other departments across the university. To get involved, contact Kathryn Waddington, k.waddington@westminster.ac.uk


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