14 June 2016

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

Local charity, Zest, is organising a Human Library on 23rd June, 4-7pm in Upperthorpe Library.

A visitor to the Human Library can choose a book from a range of titles. The difference is that books are people, and reading is a conversation.

Zest’s Human Library will provide a safe environment for people to engage in respectful conversations. ‘Readers’ will be encouraged to ask ‘books’ questions and to get to know the people behind the labels. The dialogue that the Human Library facilitates has the potential to challenge prejudice, stigma and discrimination.

At Zest’s event there will be twelve ‘books’ to ‘read’. Titles include a Carer, a Muslim Woman, someone from the LGBT community, an Older Person, an Asylum Seeker and someone with a disability.

Sheffield City Council works with Zest and has provided funding for schemes to enhance community development.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for community services and libraries, said:

“It’s brilliant that Zest is encouraging people to find out more about others in their community through this innovative project. You don’t usually get a chance to ask people things like what it’s like to be older, lesbian or gay, an asylum seeker or living with a disability.

“It’s through exploring our differences that we discover what we have in common and what binds us together.

“I’m sure this event will help people gain more of an understanding of others in their community and that’s really welcome.

“I hope people enjoy this powerful event and get something from it. I’d like to see more community organisations consider doing something like this in the future. “

Zest is a social enterprise which manages the Zest Centre – a healthy living hub housing a swimming pool, mixed gym, exercise studio, community cafe, plus a library, advice service and IT drop in.

For more information about Zest call 0114 270 2040 or visit www.zestcommunity.co.uk