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Human Library Essay Contest Details

Human Library Essay Contest Dates:  April 6 - May 1, 2017

​Contest prizes have been generously donated by the Chaffey College Bookstore:

1st place:  $50 Chaffey College Bookstore gift card

2nd place:  $25 Chaffey College Bookstore gift card

3rd place:  $25 Chaffey College Bookstore gift card

Human Library Themes

This year we are official ambassadors for the Human Library organization and are excited to conduct a true Human Library event, as modeled after the original Human Library event in Denmark. Our Human Books have authentic stories and real-life experiences to share that touch on one or more of the following categories:  

  • Ethnicity, a member of an ethnic minority in the community
  • Religion, a member of a stigmatized religious group
  • Sexuality, a member of the LGBTQ community
  • Occupation, any occupation, including unemployed, single mother, etc.
  • Disability/Health, any disability or health issues
  • Lifestyle & Political conviction, some examples include homeless, atheist, vegan, etc.

How to Participate in the Human Library Essay Contest

The purpose of the essay contest is to encourage students to reflect and write about their experience at the Human Library event.

Essays are due May 1, 2017 at 4:00pm. Be sure to type your name, email, phone number, and student ID number on your essay. Please hand in your essay to the Rancho, Chino or Fontana Library or email them to For more information contact Mellanie Reeve by email ( or phone at (909) 652-6806.

Choose one of the following questions and write a 1-2 page double-spaced essay:

1. Write an essay briefly summarizing the experience itself and then talk about its importance to you. Did this person give you helpful advice or feedback? What did you discuss that you feel was important?

2. If you want to be more creative with the essay, you can write a story about your Human Library experience.

3. During the Human Library event, did you learn something new about a culture or identity different from your own? What did you learn and how does it relate to your own culture and identity?

4. Choose one of the quotes, listed below, to use as an inspiration to write about your experience at the Human Library event and how that reflects on your life experiences. 

Quotes to use for essay question 4:

Diversity quotes

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Ultimately, America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity.” — Robert Kennedy

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” — Maya Angelou

“We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation.” — Cesar Chavez

Religious quotes

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." -- Dalai Llama

"So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you." -- Jesus Christ

"Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths." -- Muhammad Ali

Occupation & Work quotes

"The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it." -- Mother Teresa

"It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sexuality quotes

"I want young people to know that they can belong - whatever your culture, your religion, your sexuality - that you can live life how you want to live it and feel comfortable how you are.” -- Jesse J

“Coming out is the most political thing you can do.” -- Harvey Milk

“It doesn't matter what color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc., everyone should have the same freedoms and liberties.” -- Lance Bass

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