We’ve all heard about and may used “talking books,” but how about a human book—in other words a face to face conversation with an interesting person. That was the format of the Hamilton Public Library’s “Human Library” day staged recently. Members of the public who had pre-registered got to have a 20 minute conversation with someone with an interesting story or career to talk about.
CBC Hamilton, partnered with The Human Library organization put together Canada’s nationwide Human Library Day. Hamilton was making its human books available at Central Branch, Westdale, Terryberry, and Dundas Branch. 15 other cities across Canada participated, along with CBC’s online live event.
The “human books” available at the Hamilton Public Library’s Central Branch included a drag queen, a noted Hamilton chronicler, two cancer survivors and a refugee artist from El Salvador, among others. The names of each individual aren’t divulged until you get to your appointment with the “book”.
Paul Wilson, CBC contributor and Hamilton Spectator alumni was available to book out under the assumed title “Hamilton Chronicler”. Wilson wrote the “StreetBeat” column in the Hamilton Spectator for 23 years, and freely admits a fondness for Steel City that isn’t going away any time soon.
“I think that it’s got the elements you want in a city, without being overwhelming. So I guess that’s what I discovered about Hamilton, myself.”
With 30 years of news coverage in Hamilton under his belt, Wilson can definitely be called a Steel City expert. The Human Library event is an intriguing way to be exposed to inspiring stories, new information, and at the very least some basic human interaction.