This AP story (which legally, I'm not even allowed to repeat because it violates something, so I won't link to it) says that the "trendy, liberal city" of Santa Monica, CA will host a Living Library at one of the local libraries. The available living books will range from, Buddhists to nudists to vegans to Mexicans to homeless to feminists. So you check out a book-person and talk to him for 30 minutes and learn about his social life and culture.
And this is California, right? The purpose of the Living Library is to bring different people together: isn't every third Californian a Mexican-vegan-Buddhist-nudist-feminist with no home? California, doesn't one serve you every morning at Starbucks?
I think this is a cool idea, but I think the view of who is different is outdated. Look at our library filled with thug-type teens, stinky bag-people, crazy people, crying babies, cell-phone-yellers, non-English-speaking confused wanderers, unemployed Classifieds-hoggers, openly hostile Bush-bashers: these aren't the people we would bring into our Living Library because they're already here.
We would need to invite:
- Rich and successful people
- Attractive (non-hooker) people