From the monthly archives:

July 2011

Expecto Patronum!

by Vicky on July 28, 2011

We are still glowing from the glorious Harry Potter party we had at our library on July 15, 2011.  In honor of the release of the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, we had an after hours party—and what a party it was!

When I broached the idea that the film release would be a perfect excuse to have a Harry Potter party, I never imagined that my coworkers would launch themselves into the project with such brio!

Perhaps the darkness and uncertainty of the Great Recession was starting to suck all the joy out of us like a flock of dementors.  With the library staff decimated, and our gate counts skyrocketing, it can be easy to lose sight of whimsy and the sense of wonder.

It was as if I had cast a wonderful Patronus Charm into our midst. (My patronus, by the way, takes the form of a fox.)

And the next thing we knew, we were plotting a million different ways to transform the library into Hogwarts for one magical night.

We succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, and almost 400 people came to share in the wonder.

It showcased what I love most about libraries: a celebration of the sense of wonder and the power of the written word and of the imagination, as well as the best of all worlds for learning on one’s own terms and at one’s own pace through exploration and discovery.

I wonder if some great scientist may one day trace the birth of her passion to that night’s chance to witness the stunning demonstrations led by our Potions professors, Esther and Kelsey, or to the astronomy lesson led by astronomers with powerful telescopes courtesy of The Albuquerque Astronomy Society and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science?

Will some future wildlife biologist tell other children about learning about owls firsthand from the owls themselves and their companions from Wildlife Rescue, Inc. of New Mexico?

Will a book designer in 2030 tell students that he first discovered the book arts and learned how books are made—along with some of the fabulous words associated with bookbinding (gutter, signature, deckle edge)—by making a bestiary (another cool word!) at that Harry Potter party long ago?

Kudos go to our brilliant branch manager and temporary headmistress, Linda Kennedy, seen at left…all I can say is, “Mischief managed!”

And here is a video valentine to J.K. Rowling, who dreamed up this beguiling world and shared it with us, creating such a magical portal for literacy and learning.  (Thanks especially to my partner Stuart Heady, the handsome wizard seen at the top of this post, who wrote and recorded the voiceover.)