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Living Library

Just like any normal library, books will be available to borrow, engage with and learn from.

Except the Books, in this instance, will be real people with a unique personal experience or perspective that they will generously share with Readers.

The Living Library provides an opportunity for individuals to connect with people they may not normally have the occasion to speak to within their community, to better understand the life experiences of others, and to challenge their own assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes. It provides a safe environment and encourages active and engaging conversations so that people can develop a greater understanding of each other’s stories.

Join us on campus for our first Living Library sessions.


  • Monday, 27 March 2017 (12.00–2.00pm)
  • Tuesday, 4 April 2017 (12.00–2.00pm)
  • Wednesday, 12 April 2017 (12.00–2.00pm)


Seminar room 218, Level 2, Fisher Library
Camperdown Campus


Image of Noah
Book: Noah

Title: Marriage equality in Australia: My happiness as a political ping-pong ball

Summary: The LGBTQI community is painfully aware of being pawns in a seemingly endless game between the major political parties. Isn’t it high time for change?

Find out more and register for this Book

Image of Lauren
Book: Lauren

Title: Life with a disability and rare cancer

Summary: An illness affecting the brain combined with an amputation give rise to a whole new way of thinking and being. How would you adapt?

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Image of Adam El-Cheikh
Book: Adam  

Title: Yes I can

Summary: A child comes to Australia from Lebanon at just four years old. This is a story of changing countries, growing up and overcoming challenges.

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Image of Remy
Book: Remy

Title: Perilously yellow, or why I am actually like the rest of “them”

Summary: Casual racism comes in many forms, undermining our shared humanity and causing great discomfort. Here’s how it feels and what we might do about it.

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Image of Kylie

Book: Kylie

Title: Two lezzos, two kids and a dog called Lightning

Summary: A nuclear family has all the trappings but one: a lawful marriage certificate. It’s a simple issue, so why is the solution proving so complex?

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Image of Ilana
Book: Ilana

Title: Beyond bias: Creating cultures of acceptance

Summary: Along with the lasting consequences of the Holocaust, Jewish history integrates a big picture of spirituality, survival and a celebration of diversity.

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Image of Mustafa
Book: Mustafa

Title: Kardoli: My Story

Summary: Delving into his deepest feelings to share the corrosive effect of Islamophobia, a young Muslim man offers a note of hope for future generations.

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Omid Tofighian
Book: Omid

Title: Out of bounds, or just a few minor epics

Summary: From a background of political turmoil, persecution and exile emerges a unique storyteller with a nuanced perspective.

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Image of Nerine
Book: Nerine

Title: Invisibly ill: The unseen story of living with chronic pain

Summary: Physical pain is invisible but its effects are very real – and frustratingly misunderstood. Despite the many difficulties, disability can bring with it unexpected insights.

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Image of Tanya
Book: Tanya

Title: Who would have thought?

Summary: A young Aboriginal woman traces her challenging path from a remote NSW mining town to working life in a leading university in major city.

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Image of Claudia
Book: Claudia

Title: Mental Health: The illness itself and living with the stigma

Summary: A struggle with mental health can settle down but the stigma sticks around. This story of direct experience aims to alter old attitudes.

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Image of Brian Marshall

Title: The generation after the Stolen Generation

Summary: The suffering inflicted at Kinchela Boys Home has lasting repercussions for Aboriginal families. The son of a Stolen Aboriginal man shares his experience.

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Image of Yolanda
Book: Yolanda

Title: Undeterred: Be the change you want to see in the world

Summary: Imagine you’re the President of City College New York but people assume you’re the assistant. How do we irrevocably embed civil rights and social inclusion?

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Image of Eleanor
Book: Eleanor

Title: Living with an invisible illness

Summary: How can someone who looks so well really be so sick? Many illnesses are not immediately obvious but their impacts are all too real.


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Borrowing rules and guidelines

  • Your loan period will be limited to 20 minutes.
  • Our Books are all volunteers so please be respectful in your conversation and questions.
  • Understand that our Books are able to decline to answer a question or to quit the conversation at any time.
  • You can’t record, videotape or photograph the Books or the Library.
  • There is a chance that your Book may be unavailable on the day due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness. We hope you understand.
  • Read the Book introductions before choosing your Book.

Our Living Library is based on the successful European model, which began in Denmark in 2000 and has spread to libraries and festivals across the world. The initiative is run jointly by the University Library, the National Centre for Cultural Competence and Widening Participation and Outreach, with the support of the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services.