Living Books

Libraries across the world seem to be facing a problem with the growing usage of the internet. Tackling this problem has resulted in the emergence of new ideas which redefine what a ‘library’ or a ‘book’ is. Ever heard of a ‘living book’?

Samantha Williams, in her article “Borrowing Human Stories“, reports on this new trend.

Instead of borrowing literature at the library, book lovers can now take out a person – a new venture started at Lismore Library that is to become Australia-wide. “I have 50 to 100 conversations a day saying hi, goodbye and about the weather and this is a good chance to get to know each other’s life out of everyday conversation,” Amelia Hosseini said, who is one of the “books” taking part in Lismore’s Living Library. Titled Baha’i Youth, the 17-year-old can be borrowed for 30 minutes on the first Friday of the month where she tells lenders about her background, religion and life.The Australian-first program started with 40 living books, which has grown to 60 including titles breast cancer, a nun, homelessness, a hippy turned Anglican priest and Muslim. By the end of this year there will be a living library in every state except Tasmania after Lismore was recently given a Federal Government grant of $150,000 to establish an Australia-wide strategy for Living Library.


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