These recommendations and ground rules are to support the tasks of the organisers to prepare and welcome the Readers of the Living Library Event.
Readers are the ultimate target of the Living Library events. These are persons welcomed to explore the interesting life stories of our Catalogue of Human Books with the aim of deconstructing stereotypes and prejudices in the process.
Different Living Library formats can be designed according to the target group that the organisers intend to reach. In Open (outdoor or indoor) Living Library events, the readers are a wider, non prepared and casual attending public. It means that organisers should be ready for a big diversity of profiles.
On the other hand, indoor closed (by invitation) Living Library events allow for a selected group of readers. In this case organisers can know beforehand their profiles.
Welcoming the Readers
Before accessing the Living Library, all readers will be welcomed by the Librarians in the Welcome Desk. In consultation with the Catalogue, readers will choose the Human books they want to read.
Librarians will be in charge of:
- Welcome to the readers: librarians should introduce them to the concept of the Living Library, as well as to the Rules
- Guiding the readers in the choice of the book:
- Providing a short description of the story or some key-words, related stereotypes
- Suggesting stories that fit the interest of the reader, taking into account that the less popular books should be promoted while the most desired ones should be provided with breaks (always keeping in consideration the maximum number of readers allowed per book)
Facilitators will be in charge of:
- Bringing readers from the welcome desk to the reading tables with the human books
- Management of
- Timetable: for instance, informing the book of the upcoming end of the session (‘5 minutes to the end)
- Bookings: allowed number of readers per book
- Evaluation forms and feedbacks: submitting the questionnaires and asking questions about the experience at the living library
- Sharing debriefing methods
- Keeping in mind that readers might need to release emotions. Librarians should be ready to suggest some activities to go back to a neutral emotional state. (for instance, chatting with somebody, having a test, drawing, going for a walk,..)
Rules for Readers
The set of recommended rules for readers are:
- Go through the descriptions in the whole Catalogue and choose the Human Books you will like to read.
- In case of language barrier, request an interpreter (dictionary) if you need it for your reading.
- Wait at the entrance till the facilitator comes and take you to your Human Book.
- Respect the Human Books (and the role of the interpreter if there is one).
- Close your reading on the given time and respect the slot guidelines.
- Listen actively to the human book’s story. You may agree before starting if they prefer to keep the questions at the end or along the reading.
- Respect the privacy of each Human Book, particularly if your Book doesn’t want to talk about an specific issue or if a question is outside the topic presented
- Don’t take photos during the reading. At the end you may ask for permission from the Human Book.
- Smoking is not allowed at the venue of the event.
- Don’t hesitate to raise your hand if you need assistance from the Facilitator.
Remember that you are obliged to return the book in good mental and physical condition at the end of the reading! Your participation implies that you agree with all these rules. Enjoy the reading!