Skip to main content

augustana human library

Human Library Home  |   Overview  |   Media  |   Citing  |   Contacts

25th augustana human library celebration

On Sunday, March 28 from 1:30-4:30pm (MT), we celebrated the 25th augustana human library with a virtual event. What is a human library? It is a place to hear someone (called a human book) share their lived experience of prejudice, harassment, and/or discrimination. Normally the human library is an intimate conversation-based in-person event but, since we cannot do it in person, we are celebrating the 25th augustana human library with virtual presentations by a few human library books. So, this event is not an actual human library but, instead, highlights some new and revised human books as a way to still celebrate this exciting milestone. Hopefully, we are back in person on campus in the fall and can resume a "normal" human library at that time! 

The breakdown of the event was this:


human book title

description of topic


From victim to survivor At the age of 19, I found myself in an abusive relationship where I was physically, mentally, and sexually abused more times than I can ever count. It was not until five years later, when I was seconds from losing my life, that I knew it was time to leave. However, leaving my abuser left me homeless, broke, and a single mother of a two-year-old with disabilities. This book is about my journey of redefining expectations and becoming my own statistic in this society.


Life, love, loss, living Imagine taking the initial 911 call reporting your partner's death. Now think of how you'd recover from that. I found the love of my life and was suddenly alone. Since then, I have become involved with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Homicide Survivors, and Victim Services. Tune in to learn about how I turned the most tragic loss of my life into something great that honours my partner!


Dancing down the tunnel When your brain can’t be fixed, you find someone experimenting on how to do it. When you lose speech and thinking, you have someone drill holes in your head. When you are told of your health limits, you do an Olympic Triathlon. But what do you do when you're told that 2021 will be your last...


From prison to policy change During the height of the opioid crisis, I became addicted to OxyContin. My life began to spiral out of control, and eventually I started selling drugs to support my habit. After years of this lifestyle, I was arrested and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. In prison, I made a decision to turn my life around. This book is about struggle, perseverance, passion, and hope.

American Sign Language interpretation was provided at this event.

Questions? Email

augustana human library

Can you imagine life as a transgender person? Or how about living with memories of childhood sexual abuse, alcoholism or physical and cognitive challenges? These were just a few of the topics available in recent augustana human library events.

human library is an initiative in which people called 'Readers' who want to learn about a specific topic 'check out' people called 'Human Books' for an hour of conversation.

The augustana human library has achieved multiple awards. Most recently, we received a 2018 University of Alberta Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award. In 2017, we received the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Projects. Citations are awarded each year by the ALA President at the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) International Librarians Reception during the ALA Annual Conference to recognize innovative contributions to international librarianship. In 2015, Nancy Goebel was the winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries Women and Gender Studies Section Award for Significant Achievement in Women and Gender Studies Librarianship

For more information about the augustana human library, email


Human Library Photos