Living books make their debut in Sydney
The James McConnell Memorial Library in Sydney is hosting its first Human Library, where people can loan out participants instead of a book.
The event was organized by Tara MacNeil a program co-ordinator with the Cape Breton Regional Library.
"People are going to be able to visit the Library on Wednesday evening and sign out a person and not a book. We have four human books who are volunteers who are going to be with us on Wednesday evening," she said.
"You're going to be able to have a conversation with them and they have interesting stories, interesting life experiences that we hope will get shared that evening."
The four living books include a Muslim immigrant, a Middle Eastern liberal, a Mi'kmaq tradition bearer and a lesbian mother.
MacNeil said library patrons helped the staff select who would be a living book.
"We just started phoning people and explaining the human library project and the four you see for Wednesday all said, 'Sure sign me up.'"
Madonna Doucette, one of the living books, has given herself the book title, "An out lesbian mother in Cape Breton."
She said she hopes volunteering for the project will help people understand what it's like to figure out your sexual orientation later in life.
"It's a common story for people in the gay community, but it's not a story heard often in the heterosexual community. It's about figuring out your sexual orientation later in life and having to cope with the fallout of realizing that you're gay and you're a parent at this point and how are you going to cope with that?" Doucette said.
"But heterosexual people are fascinated by the idea that you changed mid-stride or something. It's a story that needs to be told, I think, because it's normal. It's just another normal part of our life. It needs to you know sort of be embraced and not treated as such an oddity."
Each of the living books can be scheduled out for 20 minute periods.
The Living Library starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 5 at the McConnell Library in Sydney.