Libraries can apply to host “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” exhibit

Public, academic (university, college and community college), and medical libraries can apply to host a new exhibit, “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine.” Applications must be received by May 1. The exhibit is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Information on the exhibit and how to apply is featured on Thinkfinity @ your library. Thinkfinity.org is the Verizon Foundation’s comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations.  Content for Thinkfinity.org is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation’s leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy

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.

Following the application process, 12 libraries will be selected to host the exhibition for a four-week display period between September 2009 and November 2010.

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. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (www.ala.org/ccf).

Submitted by Mark Gould, Director, ALA Public Information Office

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