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Could you be a book at The Human Library?

Written by: The Human Library



The Human Library is looking for people who are Open Books to have courageous conversations at Plymouth Respect Festival on Saturday 9th July 2022.

The Human Library publishes people under bold titles - Black, Disabled, Transgender, Foreigner, Suicide Survivor - and invites Readers to ask questions that explore stereotypes and question assumptions, leading to better understanding of marginalised experiences.

What would your title be? What could someone learn from a 30 minute conversation with you?



The event is being organised by Carmel Lawless, Plymouth resident and Book, with Katy Jon Went, Human Library UK Coordinator, who has organised more than 100 Human Library events and has been published under the titles of Ex-missionary, Transgender, Bipolar and Suicide Survivor’.


“Labels do not necessarily define us, but they do start the conversation at the Human Library. It’s about a person having an insight into your life for thirty minutes, about exchanging experiences. It is not just giving them an autobiography, they can go buy a real book for that. It’s a dialogue. It’s powerful. Some of the best things that have happened in my life have come from talking to strangers”.


- Katy Jon Went, Human Library UK Coordinator


“We have a brilliant community of books in Plymouth; unique individuals united by a desire to inform and connect through honest and respectful conversations. If you’re open to sharing your experiences and you’re even slightly curious about being a human book, we want to hear from you.”


- Carmel Lawless, Plymouth resident and Book



As well as ‘books’, organisers are also recruiting volunteer ‘librarians’, who will help the books to prepare their narrative and will ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment throughout the event.

To participate in the Human Library at Plymouth Respect Festival, volunteers must be available 10am - 1pm on Saturday 2nd July for training and 11am - 5pm on Saturday 9th July for the event, both at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

To volunteer, email with your name, contact phone number and why you would like to be a Book or Librarian.

If you’d like to be a book, you will also need to apply online at


Find out more about becoming a book