Always a StudentOn April 28 the Human Library once again welcomed our community of staff, students and faculty to share personal stories as part of an international movement to “unjudge.” This was a virtual recurring event organized by Skyline College Library and Learning Center.

While all “human books” were fully reserved ahead of time, this session took place on a smaller scale than previously, allowing for an even more intimate space for readers and books to share their stories. As usual, all parties reported wishing they had more time together. 

The human books of the day included two “new” human books, Always a Student and An Intentional Tumbleweed and three returning books, Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise from Darkness into the Light, Lifetime of Impactand Writing in Silence. (Full descriptions of each book appear here).

Students and books alike reported “powerful” and “relatable” experiences from their connections. One student reader described her experience after the event:

“…I will now think before I judge people; my first book really impressed how important that is. For my second book, I think number one is “don’t do drugs;” I also learned about just how resilient people are. My book had a really rough time in his life, and I realized a lot of people have had bad times, maybe not that bad, but bad…and still survive and push through. It’s sort of beautiful.”

A former student hoping to return to Skyline soon explained the impact of reading two human books, noting that while she’d stumbled on the Human Library event accidentally while searching for something else, “I don’t believe in coincidences….” She found that the experiences her books conveyed paralleled aspects of her own life, providing inspiration for her to move forward:

“I was moved by the genuine authenticity and candid honesty of both Leo and Martin. This…experience I’ve had for the first time today was memorable and worthwhile and should be done as often as possible so that others can gain the same value and enjoyment that I gained…”

Human books also reported on “excellent” connections in tackling difficult topics. From one book, “We were able to visit topics of racism toward people of color (LatinX), microaggressions faced by individuals of color, silencing of POC narratives, and discrimination of first generation students in colleges/private institutions.” 

You can find the complete archive of human books here. If you missed the Human Library this time around, you’ll have an opportunity to participate in Fall 2021– even if you’ve graduated.

Would you like to share your story as a human book in the future? Have other questions? Please contact Pia Walawalkar <>.

The Human Library at Skyline College is supported by a President’s Innovation Fund (PIF) award.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp

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