Posted on July 4, 2017 by Tia Lalani

By Meredith Bratland, University of Alberta Libraries News Congratulations to the Augustana Library staff who were awarded the 2017 Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects by the American Library Association (ALA) on June 26, 2017 for their innovation with the augustana human library project. A human library is an initiative in which people called ‘Readers’ who want to …

By Meredith Bratland, University of Alberta Libraries News

Congratulations to the Augustana Library staff who were awarded the 2017 Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects by the American Library Association (ALA) on June 26, 2017 for their innovation with the augustana human library project.

A human library is an initiative in which people called ‘Readers’ who want to learn about a specific topic ‘check out’ people called ‘Human Books’ for an hour of conversation. The conversations surround the lived experiences of prejudice and/or discrimination of the human books. Sample topics include anything related to sexual, gender, racial or cultural diversity.

The augustana human library is one of three projects selected to receive the 2017 ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. The ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects began as an ALA Presidential initiative of Dr. Loriene Roy, ALA President in 2007-2008.

The program has garnered local and international attention for its commitment to the ongoing offering of the augustana human library. While a growing number of libraries throughout the world have offered a single human library, the Augustana Library has committed to the offering of the augustana human library each semester since 2009. With integration into Augustana’s undergraduate curriculum, the augustana human library further distinguishes itself as an event filled with conversations that have a significant impact on the understanding of diversity and difference and the development of empathy.

Head Librarian of Augustana Library, Nancy Goebel, accepted the award in Chicago on behalf of these library staff:

  • Nancy Goebel
  • Kara Blizzard
  • Tanya Pattullo
  • Kathy Gadacz-Gould
  • Tom Merklinger
  • Melanie Kuntz
  • Mark Fulton

Congratulations to these individuals! The 18th augustana human library will occur at the Augustana Library in Camrose on Monday, October 2 from 6-10pm. All are welcome! Please see aug.ualberta.ca/humanlibrary for the schedule of reads and listing of human books closer to October 2.


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