Los Banos human books
Thinking of talking to a book for real? Check out UPLB Human Library. Credits to Psalmster John Ligan via UPLB.

The University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) now offers “human books” to readers who wish to ask questions and interact with an actual person about specific topics or actual books.

The UPLB Human Library is the second such library established in the country. De La Salle University Manila launched their own human library in 2014, while UPLB launched theirs in April 2019 at the BM Gonzalez Hall.

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Dr. Mary Ann Ingua, head librarian of the Cataloging Section at the University Library, said in a UPLB report that the UPLB Human Books are “there to share their stories of successes over discrimination, depression, and fear, among others, to a reader. They aim to inspire others to rise above their problems.”

Dr. Ingua added that the UPLB Human Library in UPLB intended as a support platform for the community given the increasing incidence of mental problems among students and the expanding population of foreign students.

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“Sa Human Library, gusto nating [ibahagi] na kahit magkakaiba man tayo, pantay-pantay pa rin tayo (At the Human Library we want it known that even if we have differences we are still the same humans). It’s to bring the human spirit, the human touch,” Dr. Ingua said.

The innovative learning method of the Human Library began in Denmark in 2000 and the movement has now spread to over 80 countries, including the Philippines.

The Danish Human Library is “designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers. A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered.”

Each Human Book can have 5 readers for the reading session.

The UPLB Human Library says the Human Books’ identities are kept anonymous. Readers need to sign a confidentiality agreement before the session to safeguard the Human Book’s security.

You can find the UPLB Human Library sessions at:

  • Main Library
  • College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology Library
  • College of Forestry and Natural Resources Library

For those who wish to read a Human Book at UPLB you may visit: bit.ly/HumanLibraryUPLBreservation

Interested Human Book volunteers may go to: bit.ly/HumanLibraryUPLB

The UPLB Human Library announces future reading topics such as gardening and baking, teaching new skills to readers and help them manage stress.

Do you want to borrow a “human book”? Tell us in the comments below your thoughts about the UPLB Human Library and talking to human books!

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