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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.