Library exhibit brings Harry Potter magic to UTWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Wizards, witches and even muggles can explore the link between magic and science at “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” during March and April at the University of Toledo.
The event, put on by UT and Toledo-Lucas County Public Libraries, is part of an exhibit by the National Library of Medicine.
“It looks at ‘Harry Potter,’ which is this wonderful, creative work, but it takes a scientific approach,” said event headmaster Bridget Faricy-Beredo, a medical librarian at UT. The exhibit features six banners on the correlation between ‘Harry Potter’ and science, several lectures and “Lightning Strikes!” on March 16.
Faricy-Beredo applied to have the exhibit come to UT about three years ago, near the beginning of her tenure. The self-proclaimed Harry Potter geek thought it would be a good way to bridge the creative and the scientific sectors of UT.
“It seemed like something that could really bring together the whole university,” Faricy-Beredo said.
“Our students have literally grown up with Harry Potter,” she said. “Kids who are in college now were 10 when Harry was 10.”
The banners will be displayed at the Carlson Library on the main campus and later at the Mulford Library at the health science campus. The topics of the banners include the connection between herbology and early medicine as well as potions and pharmacy.
Several lectures by faculty are also featured throughout the exhibit’s run. The academic, adult-oriented lectures cover topics like the mythic structure of ‘Harry Potter,’ monsters and mythology and modern-day herbology. A full schedule is available at http://libguides.utoledo.edu/harry. Lots 10 and 13 will be open for parking during the free, one-hour lectures.
Getting faculty involved was not a problem. “Everybody we’ve talked to has just been really excited about this,” Faricy-Beredo said. Law professor Geoffrey Rapp, who presents at 5 p.m. March 29 in Carlson Library, Room 1025, has had work about legal concepts within the series published.
A free, all-ages event “Lightning Strikes!” celebrates the start of the exhibit. Prizes, refreshments and games will be available. Astrologers will be on site to peer into the future and a few zoo animals will make appearances. Eventgoers can also find out what ‘Harry Potter’ house they belong to with the Sorting Hat. The party runs 4-6 p.m. March 16 at the Carlson Library. Lots 10 and 13 will be open for parking.
A free presentation on the constellations in “Harry Potter” is also slated for 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the Ritter Planetarium.
The exhibit should be fun for readers of all ages. “The books have been enjoyed by 7-year-olds to 99-year-olds,” Faricy-Beredo said. The medical librarian said she was originally reluctant to try the books, but found she loved them and read the first three in one weekend.
“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” runs March 12-29 at the Carlson Library and April 3-20 at the Mulford Library. Admission is free and the exhibit is open during library hours. Visit http://libguides.utoledo.edu/harry or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/harrypottersworld to learn more.