Nordic Living Library in Gothenburg

Friday, 01 October 2010

The Nordic Council of Ministers has a stand at the Gothenburg Book Fair, one of the largest Nordic cultural events, with living books in the form of a ‘living library’. The Books in the Living Library are people representing groups frequently confronted with prejudices and stereotypes, and who are often victims of discrimination or social exclusion.

The idea of a "living library" came about on the initiative of young people in the Nordic countries and was tried out for the first time in 2000 at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. The living library works exactly like a normal library, except that the ‘books’ are people who take part in a personal dialogue.

The living library is a good example of new thinking which has come about in a voluntary organisation, and which has since, with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers, spread out to the whole Nordic region - and now also far outside the region.

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