August 4, 2018


We held a vision for the inaugural Human Library Fort Wayne event on August 4, 2018 at the Allen County Public Library. We hoped that as our human Books shared their stories of challenge, stigma, healing and clarity, the Readers (public) who listened and conversed with them would open and connect. Connect to stories different than their own AND connect to common threads by seeing themselves within the stories either because they share similar journeys or because they connect to the humanity within each.

And that vision manifested, both in spirit and in a real, live weaving that the community of Readers, Books and Librarians (volunteers) created. We started with a wire fence as the base – a fence that is typically meant to keep people separated. Not this one! Everyone was invited to share the impact of their day’s experience by weaving it into, next to, under and over another’s.

The instructions were as follows:

  • Start by quieting yourself and reflecting on what you have experienced or what you hope to experience.

  • Take whatever strip of fabric or yarn you are called to use.

  • If you choose, write something on your strip of fabric – a word or sentiment that you’re feeling right now. Maybe it sums up your experience here or why you came or your healing hope for our community. ANYthing that is in your heart right now.

  • Then weave it into the design vertically OR tie it and let it dangle. Just make it securely attached in some way.

  • THERE ARE NO RULES! YOU CANNOT DO IT WRONG!! Just like you trusted your heart to join in this inaugural community project, trust that whatever you are called to add to this is EXACTLY what is needed. We’re creating a masterpiece together – both in this joint art piece and in our community!

Folks shared from their hearts – sentiments all jumbled up and woven together. An awesome healing visual yet difficult to read from afar so here is a list of what is written on each strip.

  • Positive energy heals. We are all connected.

  • Overwhelming. Amazing.

  • Hope is alive forever when we listen and learn of each other.

  • Moving.

  • Sharing our words unites us all.

  • As a teenager this was the best life lesson I could have ever experienced.

  • Be strong.

  • We loved it.

  • We all share love and connection.

  • Encouraged, powerful and emotional.

  • Amazing. Helpful. An opportunity.

  • Compassion.

  • Love the way you are!!!

  • Informative and very necessary.

  • Peace. Equal.

  • Action will always beat out words.

  • Begin at the end.

  • So much fun sharing my story.

  • Inspired to be awesome.

  • Happy. Wonderful. Loved.

  • Empowering.

  • LOVE.

  • Sharing and caring = feeling and healing -> thrilled to have been a Book.

  • Thank you.

  • Love yourself. You will then learn to love others.

  • Hope for our community.

  • Educated. Empowered.

  • Shared wisdom for good.

  • Wonderful spirit. Great story. Hope to meet her again.

  • I realize how far we’ve come. Proud.

  • It was awesome.

  • I’m hopeful and encouraged.

  • Communicate. Connect. Share.

  • Love forgives.

  • Inclusion. Acceptance. Tolerance. Love. Forgiveness. Friendship. Acceptance.

  • Eye opening.

  • Learn with love in all you do!

  • What a way to break down walls for all of us to be part of a bigger picture.

  • Grateful to be able to share and learn from others.

  • Awesome. Acceptance.

  • PRIDE.

  • Long time marriage – love, commitment, compassion, forgiveness.

  • Sharing is caring. We love you.

  • Pause. Listen. Learn. Evolve.

  • Safe. Open. Encouraged. Great learning experience. Motivated to tell my own story.

  • Survival. Beauty. Love. Adventure.

  • Overwhelmed by stories and strength.

  • Amazing. Bringing back the heart of humanity in the U.S.

  • You, Me, All of us….Readers.

  • Creating connections. Developing community.

  • This made me feel not alone, understood, seen. Excited for the direction Ft Wayne is headed!