SVSU is holding its third Human Library event on Tuesday, March 19, from 5 p.m. to 8pm.
The event will give students the opportunity to talk to 12 or more people, all with different stories and experiences. There will be a catalog for students to go through with a brief description of each human book. Students can then choose one to talk to one-on-one for about 20 minutes and hear their personal stories.
Research and Assessment Librarian Ashley Blinstrub helped organize this year’s event and was a part of choosing the books that would speak to students.
“(The books) are just people who have faced some sort of stereotype, discrimination or prejudice in their lives, and they are sharing part of their story,” Blinstrub said.
Every speaker at the event went through an interview process with the board to make sure they had unique stories and knew what they were going to say to students. Speakers range from SVSU faculty, students and people the board knew in their personal lives. Every speaker is a volunteer who is willing to tell their story.
Speakers from last year were asked if they would like to come back, and new speakers were invited.
Junior Kathy Perez was one of the students involved in choosing the stories that will be told.
“There will be one about being Puerto Rican in America and one about narcolepsy,” she said. “They all range within struggles of real life.”
Perez believes the event can help students validate struggles they are going through in their own lives and help open their eyes to some of the struggles other people face.
“A lot of people may be going through the same things, and they feel like they’re alone at it,” Perez said. “It’s really nice to hear someone who has overcome or is going through something similar to them. People also need to be aware that these things happen.”
Blinstrub hopes students will use this opportunity to talk to people they wouldn’t otherwise reach out to and learn about the struggles other people go through.
“I think it’s important to have conversations and to really break down those barriers,” she said. “It allows two people who may not have been able to sit down and have a conversation to have that space and to ask difficult questions.”