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A 'Living Library' Book Talks

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

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.

Here is one of our book's perspective on why they volunteer at the Library:

I like volunteering simply because it's in the family. I was raised in Winnipeg where my parents set a strong example. They never talked about it; they just did it. In the various places I've lived outside of Canada volunteering has helped me to meet people in need as well as those who help . I learned from each and every one of them.

My favorite part of volunteering in Calgary is meeting so many "new" Canadians; I can sympathize with many of them and the challenges of their new way of life and language. I think the library is an ideal place for them to learn, seek and receive help.

Living Library wins Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Congratulations to our Living Library Volunteer Program for winning the Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award from Volunteer Calgary!

The award ceremony was held last night, April 17th, and in preparation for the celebration, Volunteer Calgary visited the Library to film a living library in action and interview some of the volunteers and staff about the impact of the program.

The Living Library is indeed a program that we are very proud of.

We would like to thank all of the Living Library book volunteers, and staff who make this program possible!

Living Library in the News

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Photo by Jessica Patterson

Photo by Jessica Patterson

Check out this Open File news article about our Living Library program!

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.

To search for upcoming living libraries, click here.

Living Library Volunteers Share their Stories

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Living Book, My Life in Three Cultures, after presenting her story

to a 50+ Coffee and Conversation Club at the Village Square Library

Living Library Volunteers, share their life stories with the public at events, Living Book Clubs, and Living Library programs. If you are interested in sharing your story with others feel free to apply to volunteer today!

To learn more about attending a living library program search our Programs page for 'Living Library'.

A 'Real' Book!

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

TD Sparks uses the library once a week, and was intrigued when he saw an advertisement for Living Library volunteers. He explains, “It was painless to volunteer. I just clicked on the website.”

The Living Library works exactly like your local library – readers can borrow a “book”. The difference is: books in the Living Library are people, “living books,” with whom the reader can have a conversation.

This unique program enables people to ask the questions they have always wanted to ask and to share stories about their personal experiences in a safe and welcoming environment.

TD’s book title is Recovering from Addiction and Alcoholism: 17 years and counting and reflects his personal history as a former foster child and his journey through addiction recovery. TD says his story has two main features: it's about ending the patterns of a life of addiction and abuse, and it is also about discovering success in the performing art of magic and balloon sculpting. TD used magic as "occupational therapy" channeling the negative energy of his addictions into the positive energy of performing. Sixteen years later he is still clean and sober and performing has become his day job. One reader commented, “The honesty was overwhelming. The half hour was packed with useful information. I gained a deeper understanding of addiction. Wonderful program!” Another reader also gave TD a glowing review, “Wonderful experience, well-spoken, well-informed and the sort of book in which only the ‘real’ McCoy will do! He was ‘experience talking’. It doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks TD”

TD believes society should not turn their eyes away from any issue, or hide behind closed doors, because we will not be able to solve problems by not dealing with them. His willingness to share his struggles make his book quite popular and at the first Living Library program at Fish Creek he was ‘checked out’ all day. TD has even been interviewed by CBC Radio during a Living Library at the Central library and by Global TV. TD Sparks not only exemplifies the best qualities of a volunteer, he is also an amazing advocate for Calgary Public Library and all its services.

Thank you TD!

Living Library Volunteers

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

The Living Library works exactly like your local Calgary Public Library - readers can borrow a "book". The difference is, books in the Living Library are human beings: "living books", with whom the reader can have a conversation.

This unique program enables readers to ask the questions they have always wanted to ask; while books are given the opportunity to share stories about their personal experiences in a safe and welcoming environment. This enables individuals to actively contribute to building inclusive communities of understanding.

We are currently looking for Living Book Volunteers for our March 2010 programs and beyond.

As a Living Book, all you need is yourself - no more, no less. By being available to answer questions about your life will help readers understand you and your experiences better.

To find out more about the program, or to become a Living Book, please contact us by e-mail livinglibrary@calgarypubliclibrary.com or by phone at 403.221.2094.