Hamilton East Public Library logo

My Account

Hours & Location

Get A Library Card

June 16, 2023

HEPL Hosts a Human Library

Experience the opportunity to unjudge someone by sitting down together in a safe space to challenge stereotypes and stigmas.

HEPL will host its first Human Library event on Saturday, July 15, 2023 from 1pm to 4pm at the Fishers Library. This event for adult readers offers an opportunity to learn more about diverse populations through persons with lived experiences of stereotyping, bias, and prejudice. Here, you can borrow a person who is a Human Book and sit down with them for a 20- to 30-minute conversation about their story. You will have the opportunity to unjudge someone, ask questions, learn something new, and perhaps talk to someone you normally would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. In this safe place, you have a chance to examine and explore your own conscious and subconscious biases. This is an impactful opportunity to learn, explore, and embrace diversity. Difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered.

You might choose from titles such as Child of an Alcoholic, Suicide Survivor, Transgender, Asian-American, Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), Depression, Jewish, Neurodiverse, or Abortion, among others. Attendees will have the opportunity to read one or more Books at the event. You are welcome to stay at the event as long as you wish. Registration is requested but not required—sign up here.

Other Indiana libraries—Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, Muncie Public Library, Allen County Public Library, and Monroe County Public Library—have recently hosted Human Library events. A Human Library event ties in with HEPL’s current strategic priorities, to celebrate diversity and enable, promote, and model diversity and civic conversations within the community.

The Human Library® is an international not-for-profit learning platform that has hosted personal conversations designed to challenge stigma and stereotypes since 2000. “The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes, and so they did. More than a thousand readers took advantage, leaving books, librarians, organizers, and readers stunned at the impact of the Human Library.” To learn more about the Human Library, check out their website.

Human Library Booklist

If you can’t wait for our Human Library event, consider checking out one of these human-interest stories!

Kasher In the Rye: The True Tale Of A White Boy From Oakland Who Became A Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, And Then Turned 16

By Moshe Kasher

Kasher’s story is like no other. His biography walks the reader through the wild ride of his family, youth, and addiction. Now, after 20+ years sober and numerous comedy specials, Kasher co-hosts a relationship advice podcast (The Endless Honeymoon) providing answers to callers using his own hard-earned wisdom.




Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

By Patricia Williams

Pat survived extreme poverty and abuse, became one of the few female crack dealers in Atlanta, and was shot twice. That barely scratches the surface of her story. But, as Ms. Pat says, “If you can laugh at your trauma, it loses its power over you.” Her weekly podcast, “The Pat Down,” covers everything from current events to old stories.




RISK!: True Stories People Never Thought They’d Dare to Share

By Kevin Allison

Risk! focuses on real stories that involve personal danger, poor decisions, emotional courage, and unexpected consequences. The stories come from a mix of celebrities and everyday people and are shared with the fundamental belief that all experiences are worthwhile once examined.





The Moth Presents – Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible

The Moth Presents – All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown

By Catherine Burns

The Moth began in 1997 as a storytelling event focused on unscripted live performances. Recordings of shows were turned into a podcast in 2009. These books bring together the best stories from the group’s history while attempting to retain that spirit of intimate, in-person storytelling.


Heavy: An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon

From the publisher – “Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body. He writes of his own eating disorder and gambling addiction as well as similar issues that run throughout his family. Through self-exploration, storytelling, and honest conversation with family and friends, Heavy seeks to bring what has been hidden into the light and to reckon with all of its myriad sources, from the most intimate–a mother-child relationship–to the most universal–a society that has undervalued and abused black bodies for centuries.”



Becoming Eve : My Journey From Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi To Transgender Woman

By Abby Stein

Stein’s journey to becoming herself is more dramatic than most. She started life as a Hasidic Jewish first son, with the hope and promise of being the next generation’s leader. Her personal exodus from Orthodox manhood to mainstream femininity cost her the family and community she was raised in. Today, she has found home with a Jewish Renewal congregation and within the LGBTQ community. Abby shares this coming-of-age and coming-of-self tale with love towards her family, both old and new.



How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life

By Jory Fleming

How to Be Human explores what it’s like to be neurodivergent in a world designed for the neurotypical. Fleming, the first autistic man to attend Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, celebrates his unique brain and finds joy in being human. The book examines the world from Fleming’s point of view and how different minds express the best of our humanity.





My Life: Growing Up Asian in America

By Teresa Hsiao

From the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), thirty Asian-American creators share their experiences in essays, poems, and comics. The label Asian-American includes 23 million people representing more than twenty countries – and vastly more unique languages, histories, and cultures. These stories represent the immense diversity and complexity of the identity but also explores the commonalities that many of the creators share. Ultimately, this book is about their defining moments living under the banner of the Asian-American identifier.



Dear Friend, From My Life I Write To You In Your Life

By Yiyun Li

From the publisher – “Yiyun Li’s searing personal story of hospitalizations for depression and thoughts of suicide is interlaced with reflections on the solace and affirmations of life and personhood that Li found in reading the journals, diaries, and fiction of other writers: William Trevor, Katherine Mansfield, and more.”