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Our community holds a wealth of resources, knowledge, experiences, and personality within its members, but access is contingent upon our willingness to connect with one another. Many have trouble getting out of our own specific routines and meeting new people. On Tuesday, January 29, 1-4 p.m., visit the Welles-Brown Room of the Rush Rhees Library (University of Rochester, River Campus) for a unique event that will offer visitors the opportunity to connect with many people from different backgrounds. The event is called "The Human Library," and seeks to remind us not to judge a book by its cover.

"Human Libraries began in Denmark in 2000 as a music festival," says Mari Tsuchiya, senior library assistant and co-organizer of the event. "From there, the concept has spread through Europe, Australia and North America. We are the first academic library hosting the Human Library in New York."

The Human Library will provide a way for participants to reach out and connect with individuals in their community with whom they might not normally interact. Visitors to a library can "borrow" a Human Book (a volunteer willing to share stories with others) for 30 minutes, for one-on-one or small-group conversations. So far, the library has collected 18 Human Books, including "Vegan Activist," "Volunteer Fire Chief," "Afghan Higher Education Innovator," and "Connected Wonder Woman" (pictured), whose heart stopped five years ago, and who was given a new bionic lease on life. The event is free to attend. For more information, call 275-5506 or email


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