In an idea nicked from a library in Sweden, Almelo library in Holland has set up a ‘living library’ – yes, you can actually book time with “gay men and women, “non-criminal” drug addicts, disabled people, asylum seekers or Gypsies.”
The idea is to allow conversations with people that are often misunderstood, victimised or marginalised, to spead understanding and tolerance.
What a fantastic idea! I love it. However, the best bits are a couple of the quotes in the article –
“We want to help people learn about all sorts of minority groups,” Mr Krol said. “We even have a politician people can borrow.”
The most popular request the library is currently receiving receives at the moment is for a gay Turkish man, but Mr Krol emphatically denies running a covert dating agency.
But read the whole article is great. The Dutch and the Scandinavians are often branded with the stereotype that they are PC to the point of lunacy, but I think this scheme really is marvellous. I’d love to go and book conversational time with interesting people I don’t understand at my local library. Maybe Mosques in London could just set it up as a way of letting the rest of Londoners understand a little more about muslims. I’m sure it’d be popular (though sadly I’m also sure that security would have to be fairly tight, as it’s the kind of scheme that parts of London’s scumbag populus would like to disrupt).
Anyway, for now I’ll keep hiring myself out for interesting conversations about bass guitar, with demonstrations thrown in, for just £25 an hour, or £40 for a two hour sesh!by