UK Happenings

UK Libraries’ Human Library event: Learn not to judge a ‘book’ by its cover

Human Library graphic
Human Library graphic with students
Human Library graphic with students

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 19, 2022) — There is a lot to be learned from a book, but the human story can be as valuable as any teaching tool in today’s society. In an attempt to learn from others in our community and to not judge a “book” by its cover, the public is invited to hear off-the-page stories come to life in the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Human Library on Monday, Sept. 19, at the Gatton Student Center Ballroom.

The Human Library is designed to challenge stereotypes and prejudice through conversation and understanding, while building respectful relationships and communities. This program allows members of marginalized identities, oppressed backgrounds or isolated communities to share their opinions, stories and life lessons with “readers” who would like to learn more about the stories they have to tell, almost as if they were “books.”

Participants have commended UK Libraries’ Human Library event for striving to offer an “open and honest conversation that will lead to greater acceptance, tolerance and social cohesion in the community.”

Often, people are sealed shut and placed on a shelf to never be opened and explored; the Human Library gives people the chance to dust off their story and open up through a 10- to 30- minute conversation.

Organized by the UK Libraries’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee and assisted by Diversity Scholar interns Jessica Miller and Camille Harn, UK’s Human Librarywill offer “book”-like conversations from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in the Gatton Student Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Human Library at UK, email Jen Martin at

As the premier research library in the Commonwealth, UK Libraries empower lifelong learners to discover, create and connect by providing ever-expanding access to quality information and collaborating with academic and creative communities worldwide to advance knowledge, enhance scholarship and preserve the history and culture of the Commonwealth. More information about UK Libraries can be found on its website.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.