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Living Library explores extraordinary stories of local residents


TRURO – Janet Crosbie is eager to put herself in other people’s shoes, even briefly.

Tanya Chernyavska, left, and Janet Crosbie spent a few moments on Friday talking about Chernyavska’s homeland of Ukraine at the Truro library. Chernyavska is a librarian and one of five people who will share their personal stories with the community during an event this week called Living Library. 

Crosbie will attend the Truro library’s Living Library, in which five people from the community will become the story “books” and share their unique personal experiences with residents in one-on-one sessions this week.

The sessions will be 15 minutes each and residents can ask questions of the “living books” who will include local archivist Nan Harvey; Tanya Chernyavska, who immigrated from the Ukraine; local historian and author Hattie Dyck;  veteran Herb Peppard; and Elfriede Budgey, who was born and raised in Nazi Germany.

Crosbie looks forward to hearing Chernyavska’s story.

“I really enjoy people whose experiences have been different than mine. It’s getting to know your community more,” said Crosbie, a Truro resident.

“Just in terms of coming here to Canada. That’s a huge decision to make,” she said.

Crosbie will also listen to Dyck and Budgey’s stories.

Chernyavska has been a librarian in Truro for six years and is excited to share her story on a more intimate basis through Living Library. She visited Truro in 2005 and then moved here three years later.

“I love this country and town. In Ukraine, it’s very friendly and it was a hard decision to move here. But sometimes it depends on politics … we hoped for a better life, a better education for our children … and wanted some peace,” Chernyavska said.

She said she’s often asked about her history when people hear her accent. Others’ curiosity led her, in part, to this event.

“I noticed people are interested in other people’s experiences,” Chernyavska

said, adding she hopes the opportunity will offer a “sense of community … and maybe will teach us to be more tolerant of each other.”

She also hopes two messages will come across: that diversity is important in a community and that “people in Canada, please don't take things for granted. People don't realize how lucky they are.”

Lesley Brann, another local librarian, said Living Library also reminds people that

“libraries are about education and entertainment and there are different ways to do that.”

To book a session with the Living Library, call 902-895-4183. Harvey and Dyck will be available on Monday between 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. Peppard, Chernyavska and Budgey will be at the library on Thursday from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. Residents can make an appointment or drop in to the library for the event, which will also be offered in Tatamagouche, Stewiacke, Elmsdale and Mount Uniacke. Call the library for dates and times of those events.

 

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnMonique

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