On Saturday, March 23rd, from 12pm-4pm, Forbes Library will host a community-building event in the Reading Room on the 1st floor.

Living Books is an event in which community members share the experiences that have informed their lives and have shaped how they identify with the world, during brief one-on-one conversations. People who have volunteered to share their story as a “living book” will be available for “check out” by event attendees, who will be given constructive prompts to help begin or gently guide the conversation. Conversations will last 20 minutes and “books” will have 10 minutes to break between conversations.

The purpose of Living Books is to provide a safe and respectful environment that fosters empathy and understanding among people who have more in common than may at first appear, to bridge divides, and to build community. To encourage such an environment, “books” choose how much and in what way they wish to share their story, and “readers” will be offered instructions for how best to care for their “book” along with their prompts. Snacks and beverages will be provided for all participants.

To sign up to become a “Living Book,” fill out this form: http://bit.ly/forbeslivingbooks

If you have questions about the event, please email: livingbooks@forbeslibrary.org

This program is one of many that Forbes will be holding this year, as part of a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant for $7500 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). “This year’s grants illustrate the vibrant and dynamic ways that libraries connect with their communities, “said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “The grants help libraries expand service offerings, impact lives and demonstrate why libraries continue to be a vital part of the civic landscape. We are proud of the work that is done by Massachusetts libraries through the LSTA grant program.”

Through this grant, and events like Living Books, Forbes Library hopes to offer our community a space and opportunity to build connections and grapple with challenging issues.