LMU Human Library: What You Missed

Today’s post was written by library student ambassador Evie Wilson.  Be sure to check out all of our student perspectives from the Fall 2017 semester to learn more about the programming we offer at the William H. Hannon Library!

On November 8, 2017, the Starbucks located besides our beloved William H. Hannon Library was buzzing with the chatter of LMU’s fifth annual Human Library event. Warm conversations and lively discussions were abound as participants spent the afternoon interacting and “reading” the human “books”, which discussed significant international themes such as Transcending Borders, First Gen Immigrant and College Student: Now Professor and experiencing a new country from an immigrant’s perspective.

One of the books focused on China’s four new inventions. This discussion took a deeper look into the recent innovations of the country and investigated the way it impacted China as a whole. These new inventions include China’s move towards mobile cashless pay, their introduction of “mobike” – a bicycle sharing industry, and a high-speed rail that has increased accessibility between China’s provinces. These innovative breakthroughs have helped ease the lives of millions of Chinese people and are of utmost important to the country’s economic and social well-being.

Arnab Banerji
Human Book Arnab Banerji tells his story.

Thus, this book proved to be an enlightening conversation for many students as it brought great insight into the way one of the world’s greatest economic powerhouses has decided to progress as a society. Some “readers” felt that listening in on what the “book” had to say had helped shape their understanding of the country, and that it “opened (their) world view.” The conversation also proved helpful to students majoring in international business as it emphasized China’s business ethic and economical strategy.

Another book that provided insightful and engaging conversations was “From Five to Seventy-Five: Evolution of Ganesh Festival in an Immigrant Home.” Dr. Mugdha Yeolekar came to America from India in 2002. As she began to miss her home and felt an increasing sense of loneliness from being homesick and nostalgic in America, she began to celebrate her homeland’s festival Ganesh in her new home. Many began to join in on her celebration and although she had initially started it to “connect to India,” she soon realized that the festival was better used as a way of “passing beautiful things to (her) friends.” Through this experience, she grew from an individual into a mother as she realized the importance of having an inclusive and inviting nature to “bring community together”. Dr. Yeolekar was excited to share her story in LMU’s Human Library as “books are more distant but this allows one to get in touch with humanity,” and wished that more students had come in order to take part in the sharing of stories and perspectives.

Student attendee
Library student assistant Christiana listening to a human library story.

All in all, the afternoon ended on a high note. Not one book was not read. Participants felt enlightened by the insightful conversations and the unique reading experience they had. Some left the room with better understanding of others’ cultures, some left acknowledging the struggle of migrating and culture-shock, some even left the room with business insights that they consider innovating. What made the Human Library special is that it does not treat books as unchanging documents, rather as evolving ideas.

Thank you for telling us about what we missed, Evie!