Winnipeg's Human Library opened to the public Thursday.

The novel concept has volunteers acting as human "books" by making themselves available for one-on-one conversations about their lives.

Doreen Demas is offering her story to the project for "readers" in Winnipeg.

Human Library hours

  • Thursday, Jan. 24 — 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 25 — 12 to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 26 — 12 to 5 p.m.

The "books" will be on the second floor of the Millennium Library during those hours. Check out the library's website to find out how you can schedule a conversation with a "book" of your choice.

"I have basically devoted my life to working on behalf of and for persons with disabilities on our First Nations communities," said Demas.

Demas, who has a visual impairment, has been working to break down stereotypes and prejudices for 25 years.

"I also wanted to make sure that other people from my community could have the same experience and the same opportunities I had," she said.

Ro Walker Mills is also sharing his story through the Human Library project. At the age of 22, Mills came out as transgendered and began transitioning from female to male.

"At some point, I didn’t best identify as a lesbian as I first thought," said Mills.

Mills now identifies as transgendered and said that has been an important part of the transitioning process.

"I would never leave out the trans part of that because that represents the whole point," said Mills. "It’s a life in transition."

Mills' and Demas' stories are two of 30 human books available at the event, which is offered by a partnership between the Millennium Library, the Canadian Human Rights Museum and CBC.

It’s now in its second year and is held at the Millennium Library in downtown Winnipeg.

This year’s sessions began at 5 p.m. Thursday and run until 9 p.m. Sessions will also be offered from noon until 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday marks National Human Library Day, with events happening across Canada in 15 different cities. Interested readers can also take part online.

CBC News will offer live streams from 15 different cities. A conversation will also be held on Twitter under the hashtag #CBCHumanLibrary.

The Human Library movement began in Denmark in 2000 and since then events have been held in over 25 countries.