The New Hampshire Human Library Project: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges by Engaging Communities of Learners


Librarians at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Goffstown High School, and Goffstown Public Library collaborated to organize New Hampshire’s first Human Library. The Human Library Project educates communities about the impact of prejudice by engaging participants in a personal, experiential learning encounter. In a Human Library, the “books” are community members who have faced stereotyping and marginalization because of some aspect of their identity or experience; “readers” check out the “books” for respectful conversations on the effects of discrimination and solutions for overcoming them. By partnering to present the Human Library to three sites in the state, the project organizers were able to bring this unique experience to their distinct constituencies. The Human Library created an atmosphere of inquiry and engagement that demonstrated that learning is both an active and reflective process, and that the library is a center for interpersonal connection and growth.

Publication Date


Journal Title

The Experiential Library: Transforming Academic and Research Libraries through the Power of Experiential Learning



Document Type

Book Chapter