By Kate Lambert and Susan Stone
The Second Annual Human Library Project, a joint venture of the Pawling Central School District and The Pawling Free Library, took place at the Pawling Middle School on Friday, January 12th. Once again, Human books of shared stories and knowledge from personal and professional lives, have forged human connections between Pawling Central School District staff members and other members of the greater Pawling community. Attendees expressed that “reading” human books provided them with new perspectives and allowed them to see people in a different light. They enjoyed meeting members of the community and getting to know friends and colleagues better.
In all, forty six community members volunteered to share their knowledge and experiences with readers during this In-Service day for teachers and staff of the Pawling Central School District. Human book titles enticed participants to join small groups to listen and learn through shared insights and experiences. Such titles as: Addiction: A Health Crises by Susan Salomone and Carol Christiansen, Love Your Mother by Jay Erickson, Half-Kidnapped and Overfull: Adventures from A Year in India by Carolyn Herman, Tweens, Teens, Social Media and Mental Health by Coleen Snow, and Like the Energizer Bunny, Keep on Keeping on! by Margaret Hubert were but a few of the forty six fascinating selections available to readers at last Fridays event.
By hearing people’s unique stories, many "readers" were able to think about positive changes they could make in their own lives. Readers were inspired, new connections were formed, and educators and other attendees gained new resources within the community. Among the attendants were Congressman John Faso of New York’s 19th District and New York State Senator Dr. Terrence Murphy.