December 14, 2016 / 5:38 PM / 8 months ago

"Human library" project seeks to promote diversity in Polish city

KATOWICE, Poland (Reuters) - A public library in the southern Polish city of Katowice has swapped books for human volunteers, hoping to provide its visitors with a lesson in diversity and tolerance.

The one-day "Human Library" project last week, initiated by local Bona Fides charity saw 15 volunteers from different backgrounds tell their stories to strangers who would "borrow" them, like books, for a 30-minute chat.

Among them were a black man who came to Poland from South Africa, a transsexual, an imam and a former prison inmate.

"A book doesn't say everything ... but if you meet a real person who has feelings then they can say more," imam Abdelwahab Bouali said of the initiative, which has previously taken place elsewhere.

"I hope that the people who I have met changed some of their negative opinions about Islam and other cultures."

Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Alison Williams

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