Sam Jonah Library Launches Human Library Service
The Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers. A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered. The Human Library is a Danish idea from 2000 and is now available in more than 80 countries.
You can now borrow a human to read rather than a book.
The Sam Jonah Library of the University of Cape Coast has launched a Human Library Service (HLS), becoming the first library in Ghana to render such a service.
The Human Library is a scientific service in libraries across the globe designed to build a positive framework for conversations through dialogue. It is a library where a person, instead of a book, is borrowed to listen to life stories. The goal is to understand the different journeys taken in life and how to navigate an experience one is encountering.
The Human Library is also underpinned by the contact hypothesis which states that bringing people of different backgrounds together enables an exchange of experiences leading to their improvement.
The Librarian of the Sam Jonah Library, Dr. Mac-Anthony Cobblah, in his welcome remarks at the launch was convinced that the new service was going to enhance the general services the Library renders.
He was certain students, through the Human Library, would gain access to the knowledge and lived experiences of members within the University community to guide them in their academic and social lives on campus.
On her part, Dr. Gloria Techi-Donkor, Head of Clients’ Services at the Sam Jonah Library spoke about the new service and outlined its advantages not just to students but the wider university community. She noted that the HLS creates an equal status among students and whips intergroup cooperation between the student body and senior members. She also noted that through this, the Sam Jonah Library would become the major agent in bridging the gap between senior members of the university community and students.
The Human Books (resource persons) for the maiden Human Library Session were Prof. Peter Kojo Grant, Head of the Department for Classics and Philosophy, and a retired librarian, Mrs. Paulina Afful-Yeboah, a retired deputy Librarian of the University of Cape Coast.
They interacted with the participants on balancing academic life with relationships. Readers (participants) were allowed to interact with the books.
Also present at the launch was the deputy librarian, Madam Paulina Kwafoa.
Source: Documentation and Information Section -UCC