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'Harry Potter' exhibit charms Ela Area Library
By Kristina Hauptmann | Daily Herald Staff

Actor Terry Lynch of Orland Park tells the story of alchemist Nicholas Flamel with a little help from 9-year-old Olicia Holsen of Hawthorn Woods at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

The "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine" exhibit is on display at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich through Aug. 21.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

The "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine" exhibit is on display at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich through Aug. 21.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

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Published: 7/23/2010 1:10 PM

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The story of fictional wizard Harry Potter takes place in Britain, but the Ela Area Public Library is offering a glimpse into his world a bit closer to home.

"Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine" is a traveling exhibit that takes a deeper look into the Renaissance influences on the Harry Potter series. It began earlier this month and runs until Aug. 21.

Parts of Ela library look as though they've been transfigured into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The first floor study rooms have become a Magical Menagerie and the Hogwarts Owlery, and on the outdoor patio grows an unusual herb garden Professor Sprout would be proud of.

The library staff created these additions apart from the actual exhibit on the second floor. The Harry Potter's World exhibit features a portrait quiz, a Renaissance portrait puzzle, and Turning the Pages, digitized Renaissance books on touch-screen computers.

Ela library wanted to provide an interactive exhibit that encompassed all areas of the library, said Valerie Stern, public information coordinator.

"In addition to just putting up the exhibit, we thought we'd have a little fun with it and get other departments involved," she said.

History buffs and Harry Potter fans alike can attend presentations about the history of alchemy, the science of turning metals into gold. Alchemists also tried to indefinitely prolong life - a theme that pervades "Harry Potter." Other events include trivia contests, arts and crafts and an astronomy presentation. A full list can be found on the library's website, eapl.org. Some events require preregistration.

The library will host a Renaissance Festival July 31 that features costumed entertainers and jugglers, tournaments, dancing, music and information about artisans of the era.

The exhibit closes Aug. 21 with a Wizard Wrock Concert. Bands Dreary Inferi and Diagon Alley will perform Harry Potter-themed rock songs.

Harry Potter's World is on loan from the National Library of Medicine and is funded by the Friends of Ela Library organization.