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Professional Development – The Human Library Readers’ Corner

28 March @ 14:00 - 16:00 BST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

It’s time to stop judging books by their covers. 

Libraries are vital for learning new concepts, deepening our knowledge and connecting us to information from all over the world. The Human Library expands this experience by allowing you to borrow a human ‘book’ and hear their story, ask questions, and see things from a different perspective. 

The Human Library Readers’ Corner encourages open and curious dialogue about often uncomfortable topics – books are drawn from the groups in society that are stigmatised, stereotyped, marginalised, mistreated or misunderstood. From race to religion or refugees, disability to discrimination, LGBT to mental health and more, each book tells a different story. 

All questions are welcome without judgement in this safe, online space to learn about what it is to be human.  

‘The Human Library publishes people as open books to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.’ – Ronni Abergel, founder (Denmark, 2000) 


This is part of a series of four Human Library events taking place in 2023 for SoA members, supporters and friends. The dates are: 

Put the kettle on, log in and read a book from the Human Library. 


How it works: 

  1. Sign-up below to be one of up to 50 guests invited to the Human Library.
  2. Hear introductions from SoA Chief Operating Officer Anna Ganley and a Human Librarian. 
  3. Join a smaller group of people in a breakout room and chat live with a human book. 
  4. Join a second smaller group and talk to another human book. 
  5. Come together with the wider group and talk about your experience, and what you learned from the readings. 

There is only space for 50 people in one Human Library session, so please register in advance to secure your spot. 


Check out this video of a Human Library event in action: 



  • Open the Zoom room to readers, say hello and settle (2-5 min)
  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping from Anna Ganley – SoA, Chief Operating Officer (5 mins)
  • Human Library welcome and introduction (10 min)
  • Introduction to the practicalities and mechanics of the session (5 min)
  • Distribute readers and then ‘books’ into the breakout rooms (5 min)
  • First reading (30 min)
  • Redistribution of books to new breakout rooms (5 min)
  • Second reading (30 minutes)
  • Closing remarks and Reader Review (20 min)


Who is this session for?

  • Anyone who would like to have positive conversations with real people to help challenge stereotypes and prejudices.
  • Anyone who would like to ask curious and difficult questions in a safe online space.
  • Anyone who would like to learn more about people with different lived experiences.
  • Anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of marginalised or misunderstood people. 


What will this session cover?

This Human Library event is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. This event will enable you to meet real people in a safe space and ask curious and difficult questions. The Human Library is a Danish concept, founded in 2000 and now available in more than 80 countries in person and online.


SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links, a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


About The Human Library

The Human Library Organisation is a registered international not-for-profit with their administrative headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. They are dedicated to ensuring a global implementation of the Human Library as a learning platform. They currently operate in six continents and host or are involved in activities in more than 80 countries. They work with some of the largest brands in the world, helping them with their diversity and inclusion efforts.


Need to know


  • Participants will have the option to turn on the live transcript option in the main room on Zoom, not including the break-out rooms.
  • If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please email [email protected]

Before the event

  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam email folder
  • Please add [email protected] to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails

During the event

  • This event will take place on Zoom Meetings
  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • Attendees will be muted initially, however, this is an interactive event. You will be in small break-out rooms and so we ask that you have your video and sound on.
  • This event will not be recorded as we are operating a safe space. We want all participants to feel comfortable.

After the event

  • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
  • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place using the registration form below. Bookings will close 9am on Friday 24 March.

All #SoAatHome events are free but if you can afford to, please consider donating to our Authors’ Contingency Fund and we suggest a minimum donation of £5. The fund is to help professional authors experiencing financial hardship. DONATE HERE


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Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


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20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



28 March
14:00 - 16:00 BST
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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Anna Ganley