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Living Library

This guide provides resources and information for the USC Libraries Living Library Series.

Welcome to the Living Library.

Here, you will find information and resources to promote dialogue, encourage inquiry, support diversity, and build community. Browse our virtual bookshelf, find supplemental readings, and learn more about your fellow Trojans.  Our inaugural Living Library event was held on Wednesday, March 17th from 4pm-5:30pm, a collaboration between USC Libraries and Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Check back in Fall 2021 for our next Living Library event!

If you have any questions, please contact Librarian Christal Young at

Want to serve as a Living Book? Apply here!

Image of Living Library Flier


What is a Living Library?

Based on the Human Library movement birthed out of Denmark, The Living Library aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. The purpose of the USC Libraries Living Library project is to identify the library as a place for knowledge generation and a safe space where students feel comfortable to discuss matters that affect them.  Students' experiences are valuable. Through and at the library, students discover and acquire information and then use that information, coupled with their lived experience, to create new knowledge.

At the Living Library, Readers will “check out” Living Books and engage in open dialogue whose explicit aim is to discuss topics that are often considered delicate, but nevertheless significant, within their lived experiences.  The Living Books will have an opportunity to share their experience on topics that can/will include aspects such as their experiences, background, occupation or other personal characteristics.  Readers will be able to ask questions and learn about the Living Book’s unique story.  

Also, check out our Additional Reading section to discover more about oral histories, building community, and the specific topics presented by the Living Books and represented within the USC Libraries collections.  Supplemental readings will continue to be added to reflect our Living Books and provide additional perspectives on their identities.