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Living Library

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Living Library is a series of collaborative community events that seek to foster empathy, break down stereotypes, and spark creativity through short 20-minute conversations with volunteers who have donated their time as “living books.” Modeled on The Human Library which premiered in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000, and aimed to address people's prejudices by helping them to talk to those they would not normally meet. Since 2000, the project has been adopted by organizations both in Europe and the United States, including the Santa Monica Main Library in 2008 and as a collaborative project with ESMoA and the El Segundo Public Library in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Interested in participating in future Living Library events? Please contact Senior Librarian Julie Todd by email or calling 310-524-2729.

Experience 24: SEED (November 16, 2019)

Living Library 2019_resized
From 1-3 p.m., visitors "checked-out" living books including the first woman fire battalion chief in El Segundo, a fiber artist and activist, a guerilla gardener and an artist's model in the ESMoA gallery. 



Living Library Room of Requirement
Portraits of all participating human books were also exhibited at the library in the 
Room of Requirement and ESMoA.

Experience 16: EMPATHY
 (October 25 and 27, 2018)

Living library 2018 group portrait
The El Segundo Library and ESMoA visitors connected with “living books” on Thursday, October 25 (at ESMoA) and Saturday, October 27, 2018 (at the library). Living books that were available for "check-out" included a radical librarian, an artist, a Japanese American incarcerated during WWII, and a drag queen.

 El Segundo TV Coverage of the Event



Living Library 2018 portrait exhibition
Portraits of all participating human books were also exhibited at the library and ESMoA.