The Living Library is an equalities tool that seeks to challenge prejudice and discrimination. It works just like a normal library: visitors can browse the catalogue for the available titles, choose the Book they want to read, and borrow it for a limited period. The only difference is that in the Living Library, Books are people, reading consists of a conversation and the catalogue represents groups who are often subject to discrimination. The first-ever Living Library was organized in Denmark in 2000 based on the original idea developed by a Danish Youth NGO called ‘Stop the Violence’.
The Living Library became part of the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Education Youth Programme in 2003 and the driving force behind its inclusion was the realisation that human rights cannot be defended and promoted by legal texts alone.