Diverse Collection of Human “Books” Share Personal Stories

This is the first in a series highlighting the unique human Books at the Living Library Book Fair.

Poudre River Public Library District will hold its first ever Living Library event on Saturday, February 2 at Old Town Library. The Living Library Book Fair features nearly two dozen human “Books” who will meet with small groups of “Readers” to share their personal stories and engage in open and honest conversations.

Anyone interested in participating as a “Reader” should visit the Library’s online events calendar to register for each Book you wish to check out. All Books are listed along with a short description and the time and location of the talk at Old Town Library.

To give you a sense of the diverse topics being presented at the Book Fair, take a look at some of the Books available for check out during the event.

“Botanical Adventures by Air, Land, and Sea” by Renee Galeano-Popp

Renee Galeano-Popp went from an aimless, pot-smoking hippie in Greenwich Village to a ‘budding’ botanist on Vancouver Island as she moved from picture books to professional methods of plant identification. Her adventures with the U.S. Forest Service included inventorying the flora of the north rim of the Grand Canyon including relict mesas inside the Grand Canyon where no animals had ever gone before (or since). She also spent time kayaking to compare the flora of the Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C. to the mountain ecosystems of northern Arizona.

Further Reading:

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“East Meets West” by Todd Cornell

“Know others and know yourself and you will be successful.”
–Sun Tzu,  The Art of War

After living abroad in Chinese speaking countries for over 20 years, Todd Cornell knows more than a thing or two about China. Before moving, Todd studied China’s languages and culture in the US, but it wasn’t until he spent time living and working overseas that he truly mastered and fell in love with Chinese culture. He shares the value of learning about self and other cultures, their ways and languages.

Further Reading:

China in Ten Words by Yu Hua

Chinese Myths and Legends by Lianshan Chen

Learn Mandarin with Mango Languages

“Love Pusher” by Heidi Royalty

Self-compassion has been described as “kindness toward the self” which includes being gentle, supportive, and understanding. Research consistently shows a positive correlation between self-compassion and psychological well-being, social connectedness, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.

Heidi’s intention is to inspire more love and compassion in the world starting with compassion for self. By cultivating self-compassion and transforming negative self-talk to love, people can then begin to have more compassion for others. This is what the world needs!

Further Reading:

“Mental Health Awareness” by Terri Bowles

Terri Bowles is the founder of the local nonprofit, Project Mental Health Freedom, which helps those in need of financial support so they can gain and maintain their mental health freedom.

Terri has suffered with mental illness since she was a teenager. Until recently, she did not fully understand the mental illness that she had and did not realize just how much it was affecting her. Yet, her diagnosis of OCD with Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD does not get in the way of her being a successful and beautiful woman inside and out. Now she works to help others in need of mental health support.

Further Reading:

Furiously Happy by Jennifer Lawson

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

“The Modern Luthier: Banjos & Butterflies” by Mark Austin

Mark “Rooster” Austin has great respect and knowledge for the rich history and art of lutherie. He loves to introduce his craft to a new generation of players, artists, and fans. He demonstrates the banjo’s unique position in our culture as “the people’s instrument” and discusses its history, where instrument makers were driving figures in community development and culture, through today’s modern age of luthiers.

Further Reading:

“Mosquito Lady” by Janet McAllister

You’ll be itching to learn all about how Janet McAllister’s childhood love of insects lead to a successful career in science and public health. She is a board-certified medical entomologist with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Fort Collins and travels all over the United States and abroad for her work.

Medical Entomology is not a very common profession, yet it’s critical in keeping people safe from diseases transmitted by insects. Janet shares experiences with outbreaks, hurricanes, and floods, where mosquitoes played a major role in disease and human suffering.

Further Reading:

“Precious Scars” by Jennifer Bargmann

Jennifer Bargmann’s journey from struggling with an eating disorder to “the other side” is one of self-discovery. Along the way, she realized that she is a “highly sensitive person,” which unknowingly contributed to the eating disorder. High sensitivity can be defined as “acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal(intra-personal) stimuli.” Jennifer shares her path to understanding and confidence and offers information about eating disorders.

Further Reading:

Check out next week River’s Mouth blog post for another selection of human Books and further reading recommendations.

Don’t forget to register to “check out” a human Book during the upcoming Living Library Book Fair event on Saturday, February 2 at Old Town Library. Register online or call the Answer Center at 970-221-6740.