The shelves of the Santa Monica Main Public Library will be full of “people” Saturday, October 18th, for the Living Library, where books are represented by people.
The event is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. at the library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica.
A Buddhist, a teenager, a nudist and a raw foodist are among people who will be available to be “checked out” for a 30-minute conversation at the Santa Monica Public Library’s first Living Library.
In the Living Library a personal conversation can break down prejudices and pre-conceptions, and dialogue fosters understanding and tolerance, library staff said.
During the event, a group of volunteers serve as “Living Books” who are willing to share their personal life story with a “reader.”
It is an opportunity to bring together people who have special interests, beliefs or experiences to speak with people from different backgrounds to share their personal story, library staff said.
“Books” and readers will have the opportunity to speak in private and personally in a structured, protected, free space within a limited time but without any further commitment. Once a “book” is returned, a reader can borrow another book.
Check-outs are for 30 minutes. A Santa Monica Public Library card is not required for the event.
The Santa Monica Public Library is one of the first in a wave of libraries across the United States to host a Living Library, staff said.
“Santa Monica Public Library is proud to host this innovative and unique event that will allow the community to come together to learn more about each other,” city librarian Greg Mullen said.
The Living Library Project was first presented in 2000 to the public in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival.
Since then, it has been adopted by organizations in Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Portugal.
Information on the Living Library Project, http://livinglibrary .org/.
For Santa Monica library events, (310) 458-8600, or www .smpl.org/.