ALA announces 12 libraries to host “Harry Potter’s World” exhibitÂ

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications

ALA Public Programs Office



For Immediate Release

June 8, 2009

CHICAGO – Twelve libraries will host “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” a new small format traveling exhibition . The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, announced that the selected libraries will host the exhibit for a four-week display period between September 2009 and November 2010 and present at least two public programs on the exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition and related programs will be free and open to the public.

The libraries selected to host the “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” exhibit (in alphabetical order by state) are:

  1. Galesburg Public Library, Galesburg, Ill.
  2. Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, Ind.
  3. Mount Holyoke College Library, South Hadley, Mass.
  4. Murrell Memorial Library, Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo.
  5. Northern Onondaga Public Library, Cicero, N.Y.
  6. Durham County Library, Durham, N.C.
  7. Chardon Public Library, Geauga County Public Library, Chardon, Ohio
  8. Charleston County Public Library and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.
  9. Karl E. Mundt Library-Dakota State University, Madison, S.D.
  10. Germantown Community Library, Germantown, Tenn.
  11. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
  12. Orem Public Library, Orem, Utah

Using materials from the NLM’s History of Medicine collections, the exhibition explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards in J.K. Rowling’s books, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series. Exhibition panels feature the works of 15th- and 16th-century alchemists, naturalists and occultists and explore the intersection between the Harry Potter novels and Renaissance thinkers, lore and practices. More information about “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” including educational resources, is available at For more information on the traveling exhibit, visit

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Through grant opportunities and library programming initiatives, the ALA Public Programs Office provides the essential resources, funding, visibility and framework needed for libraries to conduct high-quality cultural programming. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit