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The Human Library: Nepean's Next Tradition
Yana Golic /  Sun, 27 Nov 2022

On November 2nd, Nepean’s library was the location of a very exciting event, the first ever Nepean Human Library. The event was organized by our teacher librarian, Ms. Machecknie, and was made available to multiple Grade 12 social science classes. The human library is a concept that came from public libraries and has been around for a long time. Initially, it was set up to be very “provocative”; you would sign up for one-on-one sessions with people who you wouldn’t typically talk to, such as a past inmate. The goal for Nepean’s human library was not to be provocative but to, “bring the community in”, and show the different ways the community can support students. The point of the event was for students to get the opportunity to talk to people they might not normally get the chance to talk to and learn from their experiences. Some examples of speakers were workers from the Parkdale Food Center, a Mental Health Youth Worker, an NHS graduate, and many more community members who were open to having discussions with students about their lives. The goal of this was for it to be a conversation between students and the “books” participating. At the end of the day, both sides were meant to come away feeling like they learned something, and based on all the feedback received from both students and participants, that goal was accomplished. Every speaker involved said that they would happily come back, showing the success of the event. Ms. Machecknie is hoping to make this a regular thing at Nepean High School. It is very likely we will be seeing another human library for next semester’s grade 12 social science classes. Hopefully, the next one will be even bigger and better with more classes participating and more guest speakers involved. If given the opportunity in the future, this is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!