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Challenging Stereotypes Through Community Conversations


 Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

Open Book Series Challenges Stereotypes Through Community Conversations

The Sonoma County Library is beginning a new event series called Open Book that focuses on breaking down stereotypes by facilitating interaction between community members. 

The program is modeled after the Human Library, which was begun in Denmark in 2003. Since that time, libraries all over the world have begun these programs. The goal, as stated on the Human Library website ( is:

To promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach. The Human Library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging the most common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner. It is a concrete, easily transferable and affordable way of promoting tolerance and understanding. 

Open Book will be a quarterly event at which we will invite 2-3 people to come participate in a facilitated discussion with other community members. The speakers are people who are willing to be public representatives of a certain often-stereotyped group. You don’t need to be a polished public speaker, only a courageous human who is willing to discuss your values and life experiences with others.

Participants in these community-building events come with the understanding that everyone has prejudices. Those who attend do so with the goal of recognizing and casting off their prejudices. The event facilitator helps to maintain an environment of respect and to build understanding, allowing both speakers and participants to meet and to explore the challenge of breaking down stereotypes together.

Sonoma County Library
Challenging Sterotypes through Community Conversations
Sundays 2:30 – 4pm at the Central Librry
211 E St, Santa Rosa, California 95404