Books Alive returns to LMC

Alex Camili , @A_Carnation

Los Medanos College students will have a chance to converse with volunteers who will serve as “Human Books” and share stories of their own personal experiences.

Books Alive was established by former LMC Librarian Christine Kromer in 2014 and with the intent of creating a setting in which students, staff and faculty gather in small groups to learn about the lifestyles of people whose identities are not highly visible to the outside community.

Books Alive will take place at both the Pittsburg and Brentwood campuses in the second week of October. The event will be held Tuesday Oct. 9 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Room L-109, located in the library. The Brentwood campus is set to begin accepting “readers” to attend on Wednesday Oct. 10 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 3.  

Brentwood Librarian Roseann Erwin expressed how previous years have been well received and how diverse the human books have been.

“There are quite a few retirees in the community who have interesting stories to share about their career paths and life experiences,” said Erwin.  

Everyone has their own quirks and has unique upbringings in some regard, but the preferred topics can relate to race, gender, sexuality, ability and culture. Those with experience in any career path assisting others in their own pursuits are also encouraged to volunteer.  

The books vary each year and the event is held to ensure there is a fresh face present for the readers to converse with in an informal manner. There is no paperwork required to be a reader so students are free to show up at any point during the reading period. The event is structured so it guarantees the groups of readers 20 minutes with six books for the duration of the gathering.

Readers are encouraged to engage with the books to ensure other readers in the group can ask follow up questions to gain a clearer understanding of someone else’s perspective.  

LMC Student Alex Pereda plans on attending the Books Alive event next month as a reader, because it will be the first time in a few years the gathering is being held.

“Speaking with people from different walks of life has always appealed to me because it changes your own perspective to hear what others have gone through,” said Pereda.

The objective is to learn about community members’ rich set of experiences. Those interested in elaborating about their own unique lifestyle or overcoming adversity, must fill out the volunteer Interest Form located at the link: