|Event Start Date:|
November 24, 2018
|Event End Date:|
November 24, 2018
University of Botswana, Gaborone
human library Botswana
SAVE THE DATE
Date: 24 November 2018
Time: 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM
VENUE: UB LIBRARY
REAL PEOPLE REAL CONVERSATION
HUMAN LIBRARY: WHERE “BOOKS” TELL THEIR OWN STORIES
While traditional libraries are still essentially repositories of books, there are many kinds of modern ones from which you can borrow an actual human being. In this great phenomena, called the human library, patrons will be able to “borrow” Human Books for a 30-minute informal conversation. Each book is given a title to celebrate diversity and promote equality by deliberately acknowledging differences in lifestyles, ethnicities, faiths, disabilities, abilities and characteristics that may be stigmatized, in the hope it might provoke an assumption or even prejudice in readers. “We give readers the opportunity to connect with people they would not normally have the occasion to speak to within their community, to better understand the life experiences of others and to challenge their own assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes,” says Human Library Botswana Founder, Mpho Pitse.
The Human Library concept came from Europe where it was known as the 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, over 13 years ago and Human library events have been held in countries in more than 70 countries worldwide. The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and so they did. More than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organizers and readers stunned at the impact of the Human Library.
THE HUMAN LIBRARY COMES TO BOTSWANA
On the 24th November 2018, 0900hrs to 1300hrs, the University of Botswana Library will host the very first edition of the human library in Botswana. The event is free and everyone is encouraged to come. It is a perfect opportunity to have constructive conversations about topics that may somewhat feel uncomfortable to talk about, in a safe and protected environment.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Human Books participating at the event will be volunteers who have self-identified as a “title” based on their race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, ability/disability, or by a particular life experience (for example, “Living with HIV”). Readers (the public) will be given an opportunity to browse through the catalogue of books on display. After selecting a book, they will be issued with a library card and given 30 minutes to “study” the chosen human book, after which they will need to follow a checkout procedure. They may decide to renew the loan or select a different book. A maximum of four (4) readers will be allowed to loan the same book at a time.
“Interesting, thought-provoking and difficult questions are expected, appreciated and discussed,” says Ms. Pitse. “It’s different, it’s unconventional and has the potential to dissolve stigma that we attach to people we live with.”
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Ms. Mpho Elaine Pitse is a social innovator with a passion for social development. She is Chairperson of the Masedi a Botswana Association (MaBa) and a volunteer member of a Student Enterprise Board at the African Leadership Academy where she offers advisory support. She has extensive experience with community building projects and continuously seeks opportunities to engage, empower and inspire a change in her community. Ms. Pitse holds a BBA in Project Management and Logistics from University of Botswana and is a Procurement Professional in the government sector.