Books — Librarian wins Scholastic national contest with her plans for a Harry Potter-themed event

The Newberg Public Library was one of 15 libraries across the country to win a recent contest hosted by Scholastic in honor of the 15th anniversary of the publication of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first book in the award-winning, best-selling series by J.K. Rowling.

The contest asked librarians to submit their ideas for Harry Potter-themed celebrations designed to introduce a new generation of readers to Rowling’s whimsical wizarding world. Hundreds of entries were submitted, and K’Lyn Hann, Newberg’s teen services librarian, was among those selected as winners.

“I am thrilled about winning,” she said. “Whoever really expects to win? It is an honor.”

Hann’s event, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 30 at the library, will feature a number of events and activities inspired by the Harry Potter series.

“This will be a costumes-welcome, but not required, event where folks of all ages can come and earn their O.W.L.s from a variety of classes like herbology, potions, defense against the dark arts, and more,” Hann said in an email. “There will be extracurricular activities including library Quidditch, Horcrux hunts and treats from Honeydukes.”

For winning the Scho­lastic contest, the library will receive: 100 copies of the new trade paperback editions of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to give away at the event; one new boxed set of all seven books, signed by cover illustrator Kazu Kibuishi; $100 to put toward the event; and a Harry Potter event kit that includes stickers, name tags, bookmarks and more.

Hann said she submitted her plan for the contest because she wanted to share with Scholastic how libraries offer their communities experiences beyond just reading books.

“We help bring them to life,” she said. “I love to plan these kinds of big, book-themed events. These events are literacy on a social level where folks sharing a common passion enjoy face-to-face community fun which transcends age, gender, race, etc.”

The Newberg Public Library was the only library in Oregon to be selected by the Scholastic contest’s panel of judges. A press release said winners were chosen based on creativity and originality.

“We are thrilled to see librarians and libraries remain passionate and committed to spreading their love of Harry Potter,” said Ellie Berger, president of Trade Publishing at Scho­lastic Inc. “The entries were so creative in their plans to recreate Harry’s world in their libraries. They thought of everything from beginning to end.”

Librarians can use the resources available from the Harry Potter Reading Club website, hpread.scholastic. com. For each of the seven Harry Potter novels, the site provides activities and comprehensive discussion guides with questions to help start conversations about the themes and events in the books and, in certain instances, how the books relate to readers’ lives and the world today.

Fifteen years after the first United States publication of J.K. Rowling’s first book in September 1998, there are more than 150 million Harry Potter books in print in the United States alone and the series still hits bestseller lists regularly. The seven Harry Potter books are published in more than 200 territories in 74 languages and have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.

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