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updated: 4/8/2011 10:40 AM

Naperville's North Central hosts "Harry Potter's World" exhibit

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  • North Central College is opening an exhibit exploring the world of Harry Potter. Students in college today grew up reading the books about the boy wizard and may have attended book-release celebrations like those in downtown Naperville.

      North Central College is opening an exhibit exploring the world of Harry Potter. Students in college today grew up reading the books about the boy wizard and may have attended book-release celebrations like those in downtown Naperville.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • The Harry Potter series has been building to a showdown between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort. North Central College will screen a movie from part of the final book in May.

      The Harry Potter series has been building to a showdown between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort. North Central College will screen a movie from part of the final book in May.
    AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures

  • More than once, Naperville reinvented itself as Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and other "Harry Potter" locals. Now the town is hosting an exhibit looking at the science and magic in the wizard books.

      More than once, Naperville reinvented itself as Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and other "Harry Potter" locals. Now the town is hosting an exhibit looking at the science and magic in the wizard books.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the part of Harry Potter, is shown in this undated handout photo from a scene in Warner Bros. Pictures "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone." Makers of the Harry Potter film called in a voice double after Radcliffe's voice broke during filming, a British newspaper reported Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001. The Sun said London schoolboy Joe Sowerbutts was hired to dub two scenes for 12-year-old star.

      Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the part of Harry Potter, is shown in this undated handout photo from a scene in Warner Bros. Pictures "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone." Makers of the Harry Potter film called in a voice double after Radcliffe's voice broke during filming, a British newspaper reported Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001. The Sun said London schoolboy Joe Sowerbutts was hired to dub two scenes for 12-year-old star.
    Associated Press

 
 

Naperville, more than once, has envisioned itself as a regular Hogsmeade -- a place Harry Potter could and would explore.

Now, the city that celebrated several of the series' book releases with huge parties downtown and has welcomed author J.K. Rowling can explore the wizard's world in a new way.

North Central College's Oesterle Library Gallery welcomes the wizard back in April with an exhibit called "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine."

"Our students sort of grew up with Harry Potter as they were in middle school and high school," said Emily Prather-Rodgers, the library's technical services coordinator. "We know that people in Naperville get really excited about Harry Potter, and we think it's a great tie-in with (past city events)."

An opening reception takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12.

The exhibit features six full-color panels that explore Harry Potter's world by questioning the ethical and historical features of the series as well as the Renaissance science discussed.

It includes information about centaurs, unicorns and other fantastical beasts and includes quotes from the books' characters -- among them Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore and the evil Lord Voldemort.

Beyond the exhibit, patrons will be able to participate in a 10-question trivia game. Half of the questions will be about the exhibit and the other half will be about the books themselves. Those who answer all 10 questions correctly will be entered into a drawing to win prizes at the end of the exhibit's six-week run.

There may be other surprises as well, perhaps in the form of demonstrations or acting out scenes from the books such as sword fighting, organizers say.

During the exhibit's stay, library leaders say they're excited to welcome in sectors of the public who may not usually visit the college library such as elementary school classes and other children.

"We're just all really excited to have Harry Potter's world coming to the library and having the opportunity to welcome the public in to see it," Prather-Rodgers said. "We tend to focus on the (college) students, however, the library is open to the public to use our resources and see exhibits like this."

The exhibit coincides with a May screening of the first segment of the seventh book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," in the school's Jefferson Plaza.

While it hardly seems possible that Harry Potter's devoted fans are growing older and now walk the hallways of North Central, library staff look forward to those students revisiting memories from their youth.

"The huge release parties for the books and so on -- those were actual gigantic events at that point and many of the students in college now did those things," said John Small, director of library services. "It should be fun."

The exhibit will remain in the library through May 21.

For information, call (630) 637-5700 or visit nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/harrypottersworld.

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