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Ukraine: Live Library in Kiev

The Live Library is an attempt to open or to create a way of understanding better the difference between people which ensures the existence of an open and wealthy society.

That’s why this initiative targets the mainstream society or all the people who want to find out more about themselves and the others. Live Library is a nonpolitical event because it can’t be supported or represented by any political organizations.

How, where, and who works with the Live Library?

The Live Library works on the same basis as a proper (common or public) library – the readers go to the library, fill in the reader’s card, choose the desirable book and borrow it for a certain period of time. Finishing the book the reader returns the book, and by his choice may borrow another one. The only thing that makes the Live Library different from a common library is the fact that instead of books or paper products there are people. They represent various groups of our society, who often have a preconceived experience and suffer form stereotypes, people who become victims of discrimination and social isolated.

What does Live Library consist of?

The book – is the man, who through its ethnical origin, its own religion view point, profession, its health condition, sexual or social affiliation feels separated. This person is ready to reveal his/her status by talking, discussing debate-able questions with the reader.

For example, the books can have such kind of titles like: an HIV-positive man, asylum seeker, refugee, former drug user, feminist, Moslem, journalist, a priest, a Jew, civil servant, homosexual, lesbian, unemployed person, policeman, vegetarian, social worker and so on.

The reader – can be any visitor of the Live Library, who is interested in more information about a specific group, or who wants to ask a delicate question in an innocent way and in a favorable friendly atmosphere.

The librarian is a person who makes the discussion between the reader and the book possible. He can explain the concept and the rules of the Live library, and at the same time is in charge of technical details (watches the time, registers, collecting reader’s forms on interrogators and so on).


The Live library will be held in Kiev during the International commemorational day of people who died of HIV, on 18 may 2008