As part of the MLA DEI Committee’s charge is to thread DEI throughout MLA, the committee has hosted several successful Living Library programs, both virtually and in-person. The next virtual event is scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 1:00-3:00 p.m., central time.
What is the Living Library?
The Living Library is not a lecture or a panel discussion, but intimate conversations organized to dismantle stereotypes and misconceptions. These are one-on-one or very small group sessions, during which readers check out a Living Book to learn about their experiences. Living Library events are an opportunity to learn more about unfamiliar experiences you might be curious about and to engage in dialogue about unseen lives and misunderstood identities. Each session is unique as readers drive the direction of the books’ content with their questions. Both readers and books alike have had transformational experiences during this event as part of our shared humanity.
Examples of Living Book topics include:
- Religious Identity
- BIPOC Experiences
- LGBTQ+ Experiences
- Living with Medical Conditions
- Living with Mental Health Conditions
- Body Positivity
- Diverse Geographic & Cultural Backgrounds
- Diverse Abilities
Participants can “read” up to two books during the two 30-minute reading periods held in breakout rooms. The Living Books take a few minutes to describe their content and then the readers engage in inquiries about the books’ topics. Readers may ask the books questions, though the books reserve the right to refer the readers to additional resources or not cover that particular chapter in the event that day. Conversational prompts will be provided.
See the books featured for the February event and register now!