The DLSU Libraries launches the first human library in the country

The human books together with some of the Libraries staff
The very first Human Library in the Philippines was organized by the De La Salle University Libraries and was launched on August 14, 2014.

In the opening remarks delivered by Ms. Ana Maria B. Fresnido, the Director of the Libraries, she said that the Human Library started in 2000 in Denmark, founded by Mr. Ronni Abergel and his group; and that it is composed of human or living books who have special talents or life experiences to share, thus serving as primary sources of information and providing opportunities for real and authentic discussions. She further stated that Human Libraries actually aim to challenge stereotype, stigma, prejudice and discrimination.

Ten volunteers representing different types of prejudices served as living books and were tagged as: (1) The Unbearable Lightness of Being Me by Maria Vanessa Medina (lightweight); (2) Pride vs. Prejudice: Making the World More LGBT-Friendly by Eric Julian Manalastas (Gay); (3) Proud Tibo, Proud Nanay by Ma. Luisa Toribio (Lesbian); (4) The Tattoo Artist by Alfred K. Guevara (Tattooed); (5) Heavily Fluffy But Happy by Adolf Rey Duquez (Obese); (6) Mga Karanasan ng Isang Bading by Ron de Vera (Gay); (7) Geographies of Gender by Mylene De Guzman (Lesbian); (8) Let Me Be by Ruth Mae Nichole Taduran (Teenage Mom); (9) Babaylan by Gabriel “Heart” DiƱo (Transgender); and (10) Lola Monching by Ramon O. Ramos (Tattoed).

Readers were also requested to write on the Freedom Wall by making a promise to help fight prejudice.

The event proved to be a success as the readers and the living books themselves both gave positive and inspiring feedback after the “reading” session.

The exciting activity was graced by the presence of Dr. Leonila C. Abella, Associate Vice President for Information Resource Management of DLSU, DLSU faculty, staff, and students as well as students and librarians from other schools and universities.