" I clearly remember the first moment when I stepped into a Living Library. So many people, always a thrill without ending, voices and a lot of disscussions in the same time, a curiosity and a joy that you could see it there like a physical presence.
Suddenly, that gave me energy. It was like a contagious enthusiasm that makes you to take part. And that was the moment when I knew that I like the Living Library. More, it was the moment when I realized that I would love to take part in, to be like an artist that brings joy on people’s faces.
After the 1st Edition of Living Library in which I took part, I started doing research about the method.
What it’s so fascinating about it? What made it to become from an invented methos by a group of friends from Denmark to one adopted by the European Council and implemented anywhere on Earth? It was like a thirst that I had somehow to stop, with edition by edition, with new books placed on shelves, with new readers, with new librarians that like the Living Library.
After a 4 years journey with the Living Library, I always convince myself why it’s so fascinating. Because, actually, it’s a very simple idea. You just enter in a library. But here you find books that talk with you and that make you their character, because you can ask anything. And this simplicity of Living Library’s idea manages to achieve something great.
It can manage to bring people together, different people, who often have misconceptions, people that we may have not the opportunity to meet them, because there are some barriers placed by society and the ideas that it offers us.
There are the stereotypes and the prejudices with which we operate and that are challenging in Living Library. And in a society where the concepts such as prejudice, discrimination, social inclusion and other in this category have become insubstantial because people use them in excess, the Living Library manages to give them meaning.
Face-to-face, people feel their own experience, it causes them the meanings that were offered ready-made and, in most cases, it acquires new meanings from the other place – people give new meanings. Actually, that’s what we need.
Let’s get out of our circle in which we feel comfortable with our ideas, in which we accept or not people.
Stepping into the Living Library you will realize that that voice comes from people meeting and comparing different ideas. That joy comes from the fact that they escape from their circle and embrace the thrill of discovering new lands and new people.
That the enthusiasm comes from the fact that they realize that they are getting mentally rich and, escaping their reality, they will carry on new experiences. This creates a contagious energy. And this energy reminds me of why I like the Living Library.
Roxana Turcu – the organizer of Living Library