H&MLL is a program created by the Institute of Canadian Archives, modeled after the pre-existing concept of a Living Library. A Living Library is very similar to a public library full of books. You can check books out, enjoy them for a period of time and afterwards, return them. Books bring a wealth of genres, narratives, points of views. The Hearts & Minds Living Library viewpoint is that the same can be done with Books.
A ‘Book’ is actually a person. Much like any book you’d check out from a library, Books contain a universe of experience and narrative. And much like books with genres, people can identify themselves into multiple groups. A Reader borrows a Book in order to have the Book share their narrative with the Reader. A Book takes time out of their own life in order to share these experiences.
A Reader is someone who takes out a Book; the recipient of the narrative between them and the Book. Each experience between a Book and a Reader is different. The role of the Reader can be dynamic; they simply can listen or also share their own experiences. The Reader much like a borrowed book must respect the person they are speaking with.
The Hearts & Minds Living Library aims to create a safe space for narratives between Books and Readers. This means constructively confronting and stopping oppressive behaviour and language. Discrimination based on any of the following is absolutely not tolerated: