Living Library "The Living Language"

A Living Library is a library in which the books are people. These people have unique and special life stories or certain knowledge that they share through interaction, interviews and dialogue with the users. In order to be a Book is not necessary to be an eminence or a recognized scholar, but to have any life experience or knowledge and to be able to share it with other people who are interested. Every one of us can be both Book and Reader.

The Living Library (LL) is an educational and cultural project that aims to provide knowledge to the people in a pleasant, direct and intercative way. This project aims to make knowledge more dynamic and invite the Reader to investigate and find new approaches for the topic taking into account personal experiences and interests. The Living Library also helps to fight against ignorance, prejudice and stereotypes in an active and lively way. We carry out this project by bringing together several groups of students, which rotate (in rounds of 10 minutes) through the different Living Books to have a direct and bidirectional access to the enriching experiences they can share.

This methodolgy is attractive in the galician context (it was the third LL developed in Galicia, after the first experience of Vigo County’s Linguistics Service and Xandobela about the 'Living Treasures' and the second one about 'The Living Language', which tried to bring together children and teenagers with Galician-speaking people, to share their experiences related to the use of the Galician language).

After the first two experiences which took place in February and November 2011, we carried out a third edition in the second quarter of the year (February 19 to February 22, 2013, in the morning). This time we have designed a 'catalog' with 12 Living Books, which intended to bring together the best and most valued profiles of the previous editions. Thus, under the title 'One of Treasures', the living library consisted of books representing the Living Treasures (relevant living witnesses related to the Intangible Cultural Heritage and History of Vigo) and Books that represent a Living Language (seing the language as treasure and bringing together children and teenagers with Galician-speaking people to share their experiences about their use of the Galician language). In seven sessions we have received a total of 700 students from the secondary schools in Vigo.