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Library CLOSED until further notice

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Limited Access

Beginning Monday, March 23, Hoover Library will be CLOSED until further notice. Virtual reference services (use the "ASK US" or "CHAT" button) will be available from 1 PM - 9 PM Sunday, 9 AM - 9 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9 AM - 4 PM Friday. Hours are subject to change at any time. Please see our Hours page for current building availability. For more information, see the McDaniel College COVID-19 Information Page
Faculty: Please see our COVID-19 Library Access
Students: Please see our COVID-19 Student Access page.

Human Library: Become a Human Book

How Can You Become a Human Book?

Sign up here to be a Human Book:
Please note that the deadline for Volunteer Forms has been extended from February 29th to March 15th!

A paper version of the Volunteer Form is also available below this image. The paper form must be completed and turned into CCPL, McDaniel College's Office of Diversity & Inclusion, or Hoover Library by March 11, 2020.

What is my role as a book?

In a Human Library, the books are real people with real stories to tell. If you are a Book, Readers (the people who come to the event) will sit down with you during the Human Library event to listen and learn from you. 

As a Book, you'll be asked to give your story a title. The "bookshelf" at the event will list all of the book titles available. Readers will pick out a title and then volunteers connect them with their Book.  Books have 20 minutes to tell their story and talk with the readers, with 1 - 4 readers listening at a time. Conversations between Books and Readers usually flow naturally. Just be yourself--that will help relax you and relax the Reader with whom you are chatting.


What role will the readers play?

The Readers have the opportunity to "read” as many Books as they please. The purpose of the event is to bring people together who may have never talked otherwise. The Readers will listen to a Book's story, ask questions, and chat for approx. 20 minutes before moving on to a new Book.


How will the environment be kept safe for books?

Maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for you to share your story is our top priority. When members of the public check into the event, they must read and sign a statement agreeing to adhere to the behavioral guidelines in order to participate.

When you volunteer, you will be asked to create a "title" for yourself and that will be used throughout the event, you name will never be used.  We also will not use your name in any public documentation or give it out to anyone.

A space separate from McDaniel Lounge, where the conversations will be happening, will be provided for Books. You can use this space to relax, enjoy refreshments, and take a break and collect yourself if needed. 

A moderator will be continuously walking around the room to help monitor conversations. Human Books will be provided with a method of subtly signaling that a moderator needs to end the conversation. McDaniel College Campus Safety will also be present in the area in the event of any emergencies. 


What do I gain from volunteering to be a book?

Since this is a volunteer position, there is no financial compensation. We provide light refreshments for our volunteers on the day of the event.

While everyone’s experiences are different, past volunteers at events in other locations have expressed a sense of camaraderie, validation, and pride that comes from meeting fellow volunteers and sharing their stories with members of the public. They also find connections in unexpected places- through members of the public that enjoy sharing their stories as much as our volunteers, through finding that there is more acceptance and knowledge after the interaction, and through the mutual understanding of being human beyond a single identity.


Will there be training to be a book? 

Yes! All Human Books must attend one (1) training session at McDaniel College before participating in the event. You must fill out the Human Book Volunteer Form (linked above) to become a Book and attend a training session.


What can I expect to happen after I fill out the Volunteer Form?

Once you have completed and submitted the Book Volunteer Form, a member of our Human Library Planning Team will reach out to you via phone or email to set up an interview. This interview can be done in any format that works best for you, whether that be via phone, in person, or virtually. Please do not stress about the interview! It is not a test for you but rather a chance for us to hear more about your story, to make sure you can commit to the event and its behavioral guidelines, to give you a chance to ask questions, and to determine what orientation date and time works best for you.