At the new library in Surrey, British Columbia, people can "check out" experts on a topic of interest.
One of the most innovative new initiatives comes from the City Centre Library in Surrey, British Columbia, which is scheduled to open next month. Realizing that bound volumes are far from the only source of knowledge, librarians in Surrey will also lend out "living books"—in other words, people. Staff will maintain a list of local residents who have volunteered to share their knowledge of any topic, and other library patrons can make appointments for 30-45-minute conversations.
Librarian Ravi Basi told CTV British Columbia that the Surrey library staff initially imagined the living books initiative as a way to break down barriers between people of different races or religions, but people with interesting careers, life experiences, or academic research topics would make good volunteers as well. The program will certainly give students writing research reports access to information they can't get on Google, though everyone will be encouraged to take advantage. Giving people a reason to come to the library and connect with their neighbors? Sounds like a win-win to us.