Karen Gareis

“Where oral history meets speed dating.” The Beaufort Human Library project promotes empathy and understanding across communities by offering the public opportunities to “check out” more than a dozen volunteer Human Books who will be sharing their personal stories of facing challenges and striving for acceptance. These engaging conversations will cover topics including education, military service, healthcare, gender, race, faith, immigration, addiction, abuse, and widowhood, among others. The dialogues focus on building bridges of understanding, person to person, through storytelling.

The fourth edition of the Beaufort Human Library will be held on opening day of National

Cesar Clavijo

Library Week: Sunday, April 7, from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. in MacLean Hall, building 12 of the Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL), at 104 Reynolds Street in Beaufort. Free and open to the public, the event is hosted by TCL; the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center; DAYLO: Diversity Awareness Youth Literacy Organization; and volunteer community organizers.

Bradley Tarrance

The afternoon begins at 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. with this year’s featured Human Book, Karen Gareis, a U.S. Navy veteran turned high school librarian who was recently featured in a 60 Minutes news story on education censorship. Following that featured conversation, all of the volunteer Human Books will be available throughout MacLean Hall to be checked out for 30-minute small group conversations from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Attendees (the “Readers”) may choose to participate in a new conversation every half-hour throughout the afternoon. Advance registration is not required, nor are attendees required to stay for the whole afternoon. Check out just one Human Book, or six, or any

Isabella Troy

number in between. Volunteer Librarians and student Bookmarks from DAYLO will be on hand to help guests navigate their Beaufort Human Library experience and answer questions.

This year’s Human Books include community members Xzorion Berry, Isabella Troy Brazoban, Cesar Clavijo, Ana Delvalle, Paulette Edwards, Catherine Forester, Ashley Gardner, Karen Gareis, Col. Richard Geier (U.S.A. ret.), Ben Jacoby, Aki Kato, Sally Sue Lavigne, Jared Madison, Gwenn McClune, Elizabeth Robin, Bradley Tarrance, and Beth Young.

To learn more about the Beaufort Human Library, please visit www.facebook.com/beauforthumanlibrary.