Thompson Rivers University

Living Library promotes intercultural conversations

March 6, 2015

“The Living Library: An Intercultural Exchange” returns for IDays and is one more way to immerse yourself in the background and culture of another person.

Based on the Human Library project, the Living Library lets people “borrow” another actual person, who has volunteered to be a “book” and to share their stories. The intent is to facilitate intercultural dialogue, break down stereotypes, and to promote understanding.

Don’t know what to ask a stranger? No fear. Short summaries of each book will be available to help kickstart the 20-minute conversation. A limited number of loans will be available, so showing up early is recommended.

The event runs March 12 from 9 a.m. to noon in Student Street.

“We make the world a better place when we take an interest in each other, and asking questions is a great step towards showing we care,” said Loretta Teng, who is one of this year’s books and has a few interesting stories to share, whether it’s the funny videos she posts to YouTube, navigating new accents, or working not only in her native Taiwan and now in Canada, but also the United States, Australia, and United Arab Emirates. She is an instructional designer for TRU’s Open Learning department.

Instruction and outreach librarian Elizabeth Rennie is among the chief organizers of the Living Library and believes 2015 will be another popular edition.

“We have some interesting books lined up, both faculty and students,” said Rennie. “We all have so many stories to share and this is an opportunity to actually take the time to sit and “read” just a few of the amazing stories on our campus.”

Previous Living Library editions have included tales of walking a 2,400-kilometre journey of healing, being a marathon runner, studying in forests in Thailand, living in Japan, being an international student studying in a new country, speaking Laotian, and practising Reiki.

More information

Elizabeth Rennie

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