Human Library Project

Human Library. Real People. Real Conversations.

What’s a Human Library? Instead of taking a book off a shelf, you spend time with a person – a human ‘book’. Ask that person some questions and learn more about his or her life.

On Saturday, January 26, you can meet and have a conversation with 'human books'. Eight people will be available for loans of 20 minutes each at the Mary J. L. Black branch of the Thunder Bay Public Library. CBC Thunder Bay and the TBPL have teamed up to bring you this unique experience. Below are the ‘books’ participating in the Human Library. Click on them for a sneak preview of their stories.

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George Kearney

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George Kearney joined the Navy in 1943, at the age of 19. For the duration of WWII he did convoy work - escorting merchant ships between Newfoundland and the British Isles.

Collin Graham

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Onstage, Collin Graham becomes Paloma Marquez - an institution on the Thunder Bay drag scene. He first hit the stage as a teen, after a friend suggested he enter a competition. Collin won that competition, and he's been performing ever since.

Reena Legarde

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Well known for her leadership, and community involvement, Reena Legarde understands the challenges facing Aboriginal Youth. Reena is part of the Youth Advisory Committee of Thunder Bay's Urban Aboriginal Strategy. She's also involved in efforts to combat substance abuse and serves as chair of the regional chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Reena also works in the community with youth on probation.

Maria Albizurez

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In the late 80s Maria fled civil-war torn Guatamala with her husband and children. They spent several years in Mexico before travelling north to Canada, and arriving in Thunder Bay. Knowing very little English, they began the work of building a new home. She has worked at the DOORS to New Life Refugee Centre and currently works at Faye Peterson Transition House.

Kevin Reiner

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Kevin Reiner works a trapline just north of Thunder Bay. The hobby doesn't bring in much money, but he loves it for the connection to history and the land.

Ben Kuzmich

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Ben Kuzmich is just starting out in the prospecting business. He owns his own hobby company, Helion Exploration, and works as a "weekend prospector" while pursuing his Master of Geology at Lakehead University.

Marlene Pierre

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Marlene is a member of Fort William First Nation, but she’s always lived in town. She did a lot of work to improve supports for First Nations people in the city. She’s well known as an activist for First Nations women and children in particular. These days she focuses on her family, and passing on her culture to her grandkids.

Sabeera Azhar

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Sabeera is a student at Sir Winston Churchill. Before her sister arrived, she was the only girl at her high school to wear the hijab. She says the hijab is meant to protect women and wearing it is her choice.

in partnership with Thunder Bay Public Library