Talking Books

Challenging prejudice through conversation

The Talking Books Project evolved from the The Human Library, an international equalities movement that challenges prejudice and discrimination through social contact.  We have adapted the Human Library model to be delivered within a school setting.  All our volunteer Talking Books have a story to tell about equality and overcoming adversity, stigma and discrimination. Within small groups pupils are given the opportunity to hear the individual’s story, ask questions and engage in a two-way conversation with the volunteer.

The Talking Books model facilitates respectful conversations that can positively change people’s attitudes and behaviours towards members of our communities who are at risk of exclusion and marginalisation.

“Having real people to tell their own story made the whole experience much more meaningful… all the volunteers were really enthusiastic, approachable and keen to share their stories with the children and answer their questions openly.” – Teacher

“Talking Books helped give the children a much better understanding of individuality and an appreciation of the positive aspects of diversity.” – Teacher

“I learned that everyone is different and can have their own choices.” – School pupil 

“I learned not to judge a person by what they look like.” – School pupil 

“Be proud of who you are and don’t listen to negativity thrown at you.” – School pupil 

“We should treat everyone like we would want to be treated.” – School pupil 

“It is fun to meet new people and get to know them.” – School pupil

“The huge joy of Human Library is seeing the lightbulb moment in the pupils when they place themselves in your shoes and see your reality; including both our personal obstacles and positive experiences. I would highly recommend it for anyone with a story to tell.” – Volunteer

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  My nervousness evaporated the moment I got genuine smiles from the first group, and interested questions that were both insightful and direct.” – Volunteer

“Pupils are not just forming opinions by reading the press or hearing what other people say.  By hearing my story and talking to me they can see that I am a human being just like everyone else and that I have feelings. The pupils tend to find that we have a common ground to talk about.  I really enjoy these events.” – Volunteer

If you would like to host a Talking Books event in your school or become a Talking books volunteer please get in touch with us!