Universiteit Leiden

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Organisation, Social

Come to first Living Library Leiden on 11 February

6 February 2023

This Saturday, 11 February, the first Living Library Leiden will be held at the city’s central library B plus C. The event will be opened by Professor Joanne van der Leun, Dean of Leiden Law School. The volunteers as well as the ‘living books’ will be a mix of University staff, students, and fellow 'Leidenaren'. 

This Living Library is the first to be held resulting from a collaboration between the Leiden University Library, B plus C Leiden, and Living Library Nederland, which occurred during Leiden, City of Science 2022. As part of the 365 days of events organised for Leiden 2022, on the day of empathy, Prof. Maartje van der Woude (Professor of Law and Society at the Van Vollenhoven Institute) organised a Living Library since the concept linked up nicely with topics related to her own research: empathy, stereotypes, bias, diversity, and inclusion.

'The Living Library pilot triggered my interest,’ says Van der Woude. Especially in these times of increasing polarisation and stigmatisation, she believes it is very important to keep talking to one another. Talking with ‘strangers’ or people who may seem ‘different’ to you is an important step in forging connections.

Van der Woude’s proposal to hold a Living Library twice a year was met with a positive response from the University's Executive Board and the University Library. Each year, it will be held once at B plus C, and once at the University Library. 

More information about the Living Library on Saturday 11 February (currently only in Dutch).

The next Living Library, which will be organised by the University Library, will be held on Tuesday 18 April 2023. If you would like to register for the event or to help as a volunteer, plesae complete the online form for books/volunteers.

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