'Borrow' a human to hear their story at Wānaka Library

by Kim Bowden - Sep 20, 2022

The saying ‘everyone has a story to tell’ will come alive this week as Wānaka Library hosts two days of Living Stories – personal tales told by real people.

Among the 13 "human books" able to be borrowed by library goers is Maria Fredatovich, who's willing to share her story of challenge and triumph after being told by doctors as a young teenager that she would never walk again.

Also joining her, Anja O'Connor, who built a tiny house in 2016, Alastair Cook, who spent 23 years working for the World Food Programme in far-flung places, and Ed Taylor, the general manger of Warbirds over Wānaka.

Queenstown Lakes District Council assistant librarian Eve Marshall-Lea says the aim is to strengthen community connection through storytelling.

“It’s a really innovative project. We’re loaning out living audio books – real humans – who will share their own inspiring stories on subjects including physical and personal journeys, living tiny, conservation, food security and overcoming life’s challenges."

It's not quite the same as listening to a normal audio book - it can be much more interactive, she says.

“This isn’t just about listening – there’ll be opportunities for people to engage with the storytellers."

 It's completely free to come along, but advanced booking is essential to secure a spot, she says.

“To keep it an intimate experience for everyone we’re limiting tickets to three per story session."

Living Stories at Wānaka Library is suitable for anyone aged 16 and over. Sessions run between 4pm and 7.10pm on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, with each lasting 30 minutes.

Full details of speakers, story topics and how to book can be found here.

Main image Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

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