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Living Library


Living Library gives readers an opportunity to borrow a person or “living book”. Volunteers, who are the living books, share stories about their personal experiences of diversity in a safe and welcoming environment.

Program Goals

The Living Library is designed:

  • To enable individuals to actively contribute to the building of inclusive communities of understanding
  • To provide information in a comfortable and safe environment
  • To foster independent learning skills through asking questions and sharing information
  • To increase awareness and use of library resources, services and resources

Length of the program

  • Flexible times offered various days throughout the year.

Volunteer Qualification

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Able to respond to range of different readers of diverse backgrounds
  • Able to share personal information and answer questions honestly without any prejudices

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Commit to participate in the program for a minimum of one year
  • Contact library staff if you are unable to attend a scheduled session
  • Respect confidentiality


  • No formal training.

Program Locations

  • All branches

Volunteer Benefits

  • Exploring diversity issues in safe environment
  • Meeting readers and other living books they otherwise would not have met
  • Practice public speaking

Contact Person for Living Library Program:

Denise Justino

This program is delivered in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Centre for Culture, Equity and Diversity.

Living Library is funded by Family & Community Support Services and the City of Calgary.