Redwood City Together is pleased to award the 19th Welcoming Star award to Redwood City Public Library for their Human Library program. Jenny Barnes, Library Services Supervisor, and Derek Wolfgram, Library Director, received the award at the virtual Redwood City Council meeting on June 8, 2020.
The mission of Redwood City Public Library (RCPL) is to “cultivate community by welcoming all people to experience the shared joys of literacy and learning.” Since 2018, RCPL has held an annual Human Library event. Human Library was developed in Copenhagen in the spring of 2000 as part of an anti-violence movement, and has now been spread throughout the world by libraries, non-profits and businesses. The Human Library is a place where real people, referred to as “Books”, are on loan to members of our community, or “Readers.” At past Redwood City Human Libraries, books have included: a Veteran, Muslim, Transgender Person, Conservative, Recovered Addict, Developmentally Disabled Person, Police Officer, and more.
In light of the recent momentum around the Black Lives Matter movement and societal upheaval by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for human connection across differences is greater than ever. These 20 minute one-on-one conversations through the Human Library aim to do just that, by breaking down stereotypes and prejudices and celebrating the diversity right here in Redwood City.
Community members can support the Human Library initiative by connecting RCPL with local Books, and spreading the word to Readers. The Human Library event scheduled for March 2020 in celebration of Women’s History Month was postponed due to COVID-19, but follow the RCPL Facebook page for updates to come!
Redwood City Together is the welcoming initiative of Redwood City 2020 that builds empathy, understanding, and supportive action to bridge social divides such as race, class, and immigration status. To honor local pioneers and programs which build an inclusive community, Redwood City Together gives a quarterly Welcoming Stars award. Nominate a Welcoming Star here!