Featured Library: Germantown Community Library

The magic of Harry Potter has been brought to life at the Germantown Community Library in Tennessee. The library is hosting “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” through January 15. The exhibition explores the Renaissance science, thinkers, and practices that influenced the development of modern Western science. It features beliefs of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-centuries and some of the ethical questions raised in J.K. Rowling’s series. The Germantown Community Library is one of only twelve libraries selected to host the exhibition.

The grand opening of the “Harry Potter’s World” exhibit took place on December 6 with a performance from the Memphis Early Brass Ensemble, an appearance by Harry Potter characters, and a “cup and sorcerer tea room.” On December 8, adults were invited to a presentation on the relationship between medicine and sorcery by Dr. James E. Bailey from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Students were invited to learn about the magic of nanotechnology with a viewing of the Pink Palace Museum’s NanoDay exhibit and hands-on activities. The library also offered students the opportunity to explore Sirius Black’s family tree through the constellations.

The library has several more events lined up for January, including a roundtable on January 7 for educators on how to teach Harry Potter in the classroom. Adults will also have the chance to learn about the use, folklore, and history of medicinal herbs with ethnobotanist Chris Cosby from the Memphis Botanic Garden during the “Mandrake and Mercury” program on January 14. The library is offering teens the opportunity to learn basic fencing from fight choreographer Slade Kyle in “An Introduction to Defense Against the Dark Arts” on January 11.

Harry Potter events are not the only upcoming activities on the Germantown Community Library’s calendar. Story time for younger children, hands-on science activities, technology workshops, book discussions, and scholarly lectures—such as a discussion on the historical female figures of Tennessee, led by the editors of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times—are also planned for January.

“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” is coordinated by the Public Programs Office of the American Library Association in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine.