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Human Library comes to Gainesville to socially educate the community

Every book has a unique cover, but the real story lies within the pages.

Getting more people to let go of initial assumptions is the Human Library’s mission.

"Often times when we meet someone, we already have preconceived notions within the first 10 seconds of meeting them,” said Carjamin Scott, one of the books. “This [event] is a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression."

Scott was one of 14 people recruited to be a living book at this event. Ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and more were featured topics of discussion.

Each book was asked to share personal experiences relating to a specific topic with their audience, or the readers.
"I believe that stories matter and we should tell our stories. We all have very unique situations that have allowed us to be where we are today,” Scott said.

Scott said she believes it is important to reflect on stories to keep moving forward, which is why she agreed to share her story. The Human Library challenged its readers to uncover answers to one essential questions: How are we more alike than different?

Ester Tibbs, one of the event organizers, said people were inspired by the things they learned at the last Human Library.

"They thought it was a great event for our community to help build cohesion and understanding of who we are as human beings,” Tibbs said.

The positive response prompted the library’s return, this time with even more books and readers, she said. The goal is to continue to bring this event to the community every year and grow its outreach.

"I would just like to encourage people to [not] judge a book by its cover,” Tibbs said. “Unjudge someone. We all judge, but come, listen to their stories and get new information and a new perspective on who we are as human beings."

Elena is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.
Ashley is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.