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The Living Library: developing tolerance in schools (April-Oct, 2011)


The Living Library: developing tolerance in schools (April-Oct, 2011)

What do you know about Jewish people? About those released from incarceration? Or those who have visual disabilities? What is their life like? What difficulties do they encounter? A lot has been written about these issues, but the Living Book can tell you about the direct experience. In the Living Library a reader has an opportunity to read the Living Books – people from the vulnerable social groups, who experience discrimination and prejudice. Reading is an open conversation between the Living Book and the reader, during which the reader can ask the Book questions of interest and hear open answers and in that way break down their prejudices and develop tolerance. The impact is obvious: the reader becomes more thoughtful about these issues and even changes his views about certain social groups.

About the project: The project consisted of three stages. In the first stage, ten schools were selected among the most interested and who had organizational support. In the second stage, Living Libraries were organized. The knowledge that the participants acquired about society’s ethnic, racial, gender, age, religious and social diversity expanded their worldview and thinking. Around 500 students participated in the Living Libraries. In the third stage, a self-evaluation was conducted, during which we discussed the experiences while organizing the Living Libraries in schools, systematized suggestions for improvements and planned the continuation.

Funds were allocated to rent a van, organize the Living Books trips to the regional schools, provision of food and other organizational expenses.