The Calhoun County Public Library is planning to
begin its ‘Human Library’ project by the end of May. So far, the library
has over 200 patrons registered to “check out” interesting persons from
the community who will sit and converse with patrons who might not
otherwise have the opportunity to mingle with
people like them.
The volunteers available for check out come from
all walks of life and include a wide variety of subjects; retired
military personnel with a vast array of experiences, teachers, business
leaders, construction workers, entertainers (with one being an almost
famous singer), oil field workers, a doctor and other medical personnel,
retired police officers and firemen, farmers, homemakers, religious
leaders, successful self employed workers, stonemasons and bricklayers,
former ‘Rosie the Riveters,’ morticians, over the road truckers, old
hippies and many more, even a librarian.
A test conducted with ten county residents this
January elicited positive comments from all involved. “I always wondered
what it was like to drive all over this country on the open road, and
now I know,” said one woman. One man said, “My grandmother was a
‘Riveter’ and I never thought about it very much. But now I have an idea
of how difficult it was to leave her home here in Calhoun and go to
Detroit to work in jobs which were thought to be hard for women to do.
Listening to the person I had ‘checked out’ inspired me to call my
grandmother and tell her I was proud of her and would love to hear her
The only, somewhat, negative comment came from an
area resident who said, “I haven’t gotten any good sleep in years. I
have been to doctors and tried many sleeping aids, none of which worked.
After ‘checking out’ the librarian,” he stated, “the last thing I
remember is something about the Dewey Decimal System. I awoke four hours
later, well rested, and I am anxiously awaiting the start of this
project so I can get some more sleep!”