Ivy Tech hosts Human Library Project to challenge stereotypes and benefit students

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting a unique event called The Human Library Project on Tuesday, November 1 and the public is invited to attend. The Human Library Project is a worldwide movement, intended to challenge stereotypes and promote understanding through civil and open dialogue. The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, Shreve Hall, located at 200 Daniels Way, in Bloomington.

Ivy Tech’s Human Library Project will feature individuals acting as “books” that “patrons” (attendees) can have a real conversation with in order to learn more about that individual and their human experience. The individuals participating as books have written their own book titles, which will be on display for readers to select from. Some examples of self-titled books that will be available include: “Single mother,” “Living Life with my Anxiety and Depression,” and “Elbe, a Transgender Woman and So Much More.”

The Human Library Project was initiated by Ivy Tech Bloomington’s diversity committee. The committee was recently awarded the 2016 Nancy Howard Diversity Award by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce for creating a diverse campus experience through events like the Human Library Project.

Dr. Brad Thurmond, Assistant Professor of Psychology, says the event was organized primarily to benefit Ivy Tech students. “The Human Library Project is a great opportunity for students to spend time with a person who has a unique experience to share with our community,” said Dr. Thurmond. “It provides a chance for connection as well as a bridge to build empathy and understanding with one another.”

One of the individuals participating as a book explained her hopes for the project. “I want students to feel comfortable knowing that they have people to relate with and that they are not alone in whatever issue they may be facing,” she said. “Many people assume that I haven’t been through the same issues as them, or maybe they feel as if I cannot relate to their situations. I would like to change these assumptions. Instead of judging this book by its cover, I would like to give people a chance to look inside and hear my story.”

Background information about the Human Library Project can be found online at http://humanlibrary.org/.

Questions about Ivy Tech’s Human Library Project be directed to Dr. Brad Thurmond at (812) 330-6816 or bthurmond@ivytech.edu.

Ivy Tech second 8-week classes begin October 17 and spring enrollment is open. To enroll, visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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