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What is CBC News' online Human Library?

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HL_460x460.jpg Imagine you could have an in-depth conversation with someone you might never normally meet, and ask them personal questions about their life. What would you ask?

That conversation is at the heart of the idea behind the Human Library, a movement started by a group of young Danish activists to fight violence motivated by prejudice. At a Human Library event, people can check out a human "book" and have a conversation with that book about their life experiences. The idea behind the conversations is to break down barriers, eliminate stereotypes and fight prejudice. 

On January 26th, there will be 24 Human Library events, held in 15 different cities across Canada. And, for the first time ever, the Human Library is going digital on a national scale. 


We've contacted a fascinating selection of prominent Canadians to talk about issues ranging from mental illness, to wrongful convictions to identity. Joining us are rapper Shad, mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau, soprano Measha Brueggergosman, author Robert Munsch, journalist Susan Ormiston, actor Grace Park and wrongfully convicted mom, Tammy Marquardt. Click on any of the images at right to learn more about each guest. You can join in from anywhere in Canada and ask a question of any or all of our guests.

You can also use the hashtag #CBCHumanLibrary on Twitter to keep the conversation going online, or send in a question to, or leave a comment below.


  • Check our live video stream to see which guest is currently taking audience questions. 
  • Click on "Sign In" inside the Spreecast window.
  • You will be prompted to connect with Facebook, Twitter or an email address. Choose one, sign in and follow the prompts to access the chat.
  • To ask the guest a question, click on the "Camera" button and private message the CBC Community account, or producers Andrew Yates, Fabiola Carletti or Andrea Bellemare to let us know you're ready, and what your question is. 
  • To ask a text-based question, click "Submit Question," and type it in, or join in the Live Chat below the video on the main page. 
Your connection will work best if you have a strong Wi-Fi connection or an Ethernet connection, the latest version of Flash installed, a well-lit room and a set of headphones. We also recommend the Firefox browser for best results. 


Tags: cbc, human library

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