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March 15, 2012

HLE WordleHLE Banner ImageHalifax, NS – Mount Saint Vincent University (the Mount) is hosting Halifax’s first official ‘Human Library Event’ to give first-year sociology students the chance to put key sociological concepts into action and to encourage dialogue around issues of diversity.

Coordinated jointly by Sociology professor Dr. Alan Brown and students from his Introduction to Sociology class, the event will invite a diverse group of community members to the Mount on Wednesday, March 21 to act as human ‘books’ who will be loaned to readers for up to an hour at a time.

Under the format, readers are invited to learn more about the life story of the book, and can pose questions and engage in discussion to enhance the learning experience. The interactive ‘Human Library’ first originated in Denmark in 2000 as a response to racially-motivated youth violence. Creators see the event as an opportunity to contribute to the process of breaking down barriers and opening up minds to the diversity and richness of community by challenging judgments and assumptions about individuals from different backgrounds.

“I wanted to develop something with my students that gave them an opportunity to apply some of the concepts we talk about in a new way,” says Dr. Brown. “Learning has to be more than just books and facts.  It has to challenge you and get you to think about things from a different point of view.”

The Mount’s Human Library Event has attracted an array of volunteer ‘books’ from across the greater Halifax community. Volunteers include a transgender activist, a recovering addict, an author, a university student with autism, a member of the Halifax Roller Derby, and HRM City Councillor Dawn Sloane.

The event will be held on Wednesday, March 21, from 3-8 pm in E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre (Library) at Mount Saint Vincent University. Attendance is free, and all members of the public are invited to attend.

About Mount Saint Vincent University
Recognized as a leader in flexible education, applied research, and a personalized approach to education, Mount Saint Vincent University has been nationally recognized among undergraduate universities in Canada for our success in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants and for having one of the lowest student-to-professor ratios. The Mount is committed to providing the best university experience for all members of our community and to developing thoughtful, engaged citizens who make a positive impact on their world. For additional information about the University, visit msvu.ca.

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For more information contact:

Trevor Corkum
Communications & Marketing
(902) 457-6439 (o)
(902) 441-0505 (c)
msvu.ca