Books Alive brings people together

A.R. BROOM, @AlexanderRBroom

Books became more than piles of paper this week at Los Medanos College, as the library held their yearly “Books Alive” event organized by Brentwood campus Librarian, Roseann Erwin.

The event was built on the coattails of a program called Human Library, according to Erwin, which started in the Netherlands and has since gone worldwide. The idea of the Books Alive is slightly adapted to help build relations among members of the community by allowing those from all sorts of backgrounds to tell their story.

“What you realize is that pretty much everyone has a story,” said Erwin.

The event had an array of people from different backgrounds each with an insightful story to tell. For some human books, the event was more about giving back than anything else. Dr. Bauman was the first in his family to go to college, thrived in the medical field, opened his own private practice and eventually went on to work for Kaiser Permanente as Executive Medical Director. In sharing his own experiences, he hoped to “give back” to students and set an example of what it means to be the first college graduate in one’s family.

Book Alive was beneficial to both the readers and the “books” themselves.

“This is my first time being a human book,” said Tamara Green. “I think it’s a great way for people in the LMC community to get to know each other in a structured, friendly way.”

Books Alive was set up in a sort of speedy meet and greet, with participants able to see the jacket, or biography of their human book before spending 20 minutes forming a dialogue with one another. The end goal of the event was that hopefully two people who may have otherwise never have come into contact would form a loose bond.

“It’s actually easy because it’s set up to where the initial exchange is sort of, predetermined,” said Green. “I’m acting as a human book, and the person I’m meeting is a reader.”

While this might entice the more extroverted readers, and breaking the ice can be harder for some than for others, Books Alive uses the aforementioned ‘jackets’ to help create talking points.

“It takes the pressure off of having to break the ice because we know what we can talk about,” said Green.

Participants and LMC students Kelsey Chapman and Caroline Harris spoke with Ramblin’ Rose about radio broadcasting and how to succeed in that industry and others.

“I think it’s really cool the we have [Books Alive] as sources for students in order to learn about different careers, fields and life options,” said Harris.

Chapman who was invited into the Books Alive event after happening to be in the area, reflected fondly of the experience.

“I love talking to people and learning from other people’s experiences,” said Chapman. “I think it’s important to share stories, you know, big or small, they’re all history.”