Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter at Strood Library

As all big fans of Harry Potter, (or ‘Potterheads‘) will know, this is a very important week indeed. Monday 26th June marked the 20th anniversary of the first book, The Philosopher’s Stone being published. In the two decades that have ensued, the hearts and imaginations of children and adults worldwide have been captured.

Many have been celebrating, and J.K. Rowling has thanked her fans.

When I found out that Strood Library/Community Hub were also celebrating the 20th anniversary, I was so delighted that I almost felt 8 years old again!

Decoration and crafts

The children’s section of the library has taken on something of a makeover this week (from Monday 26th June until Saturday 1st July). Children can colour in Harry Potter related pictures and pick up a free invisibility cloak while they’re there. The problem was, I couldn’t see any!

Invisibility cloaks and Harry Potter colouring in

Tuesday morning’s ‘baby bounce and rhyme’ session sees parents sing nursery rhymes with their babies. However, this week it had a magical twist. It was led by Professor McGonagall and Bellatrix Lestrange (who hates cuddles) and many of the songs contained Harry Potter references. For example, Old McDonald had a hippogriff on his farm and in the Wheels on the (Knight) Bus, there were Aragogs on the bus!

Harry Potter books

Around the library, Harry Potter books are proudly displayed and themed decorations hang from the ceiling. It’s clear to see how much thought and work has been put into this event.

More Harry Potter Books

If you want to get into the staff room, you have to tell the Fat Lady the password!

Fat Lady

Fortunately, I managed to stop Autumn from crawling into the staff room before the Fat Lady got alarmed.

As well as all the other wonderful decorations, the children’s library also has a Quidditch area, complete with Quidditch hoops!

Magical treats

In case we got hungry while we were enjoying colouring in and reading, there were lots of magical snacks available.

Treats included Canary Creams, Golden Snitches, Harry’s Favourite Treacle Tart, Mrs Weasley’s Fudge, Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs, Hufflepuffs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

Polyjuice potion and pumpkin juice wass available to wash it down with.

Harry Potter Snacks

While I’m not a fan of treacle myself, the treacle tart did look very good!

Harry's Favourite Treacle Tart

The Cauldron Cakes looked fantastic too. Unfortunately, there weren’t many left as a gaggle of witches and wizards had snaffled a lot of them on their way home from Hogsmeade.

Cauldron Cakes

In the late afternoon, witches, wizards and muggles (non-magic folk) alike, were able to enjoy a wonderful birthday cake! It looks just like the one Hagrid gave Harry for his 11th birthday, the day he said those fateful words “Yer a wizard, Harry!”

We all sang “Happy Birthday” to Harry Potter, before tucking in. It was chocolate and cola flavour, and very tasty!

Harry Potter Birthday Cake

Magic and memories

While you’re in the library, you’re invited to write what you’d do if you had magic for a day!

Magic for a day

I wrote that I’d cast a spell to make grumpy people happy. I thought turning your enemies into frogs or getting the lottery numbers were also great ideas, though!

There are also chalkboards where you can write your favourite Harry Potter quotes and memories.

Harry Potter Memories and Quotes

Harry Potter dress up

However, perhaps the best part of all, is the Harry Potter dress up area!

Harry Potter Dress Up

There is a beautiful backdrop of Hogwarts by Polly Martin, with props available. These include robes, a scarf, Harry Potter’s glasses, a wand, and a lit up broomstick. However, wearing your own fancy dress to the library is also encouraged!

Autumn and I quite got into the spirit!

It was great to see the librarians getting into the spirit! The planning was down to Emily, on the right, who is a huge fan of Harry Potter! The same age as me, she’s grown up immersed in the world of Harry Potter.

Librarians in Harry Potter dress

I didn’t manage to capture a picture of Bellatrix Lestrange in the morning, as she went to Aldi (who knew that allies of Voldemort shopped in German discount supermarkets?) However, I did managed to get one when I returned in the afternoon!

Bellatrix Lestrange at Strood Library

When we returned in the afternoon, there was a storytime where we were read an excerpt from The Philosopher’s Stone and two other magical stories. Afterwards, children could make Marauder’s Maps with ink and quills.

Marauders Map

While today was the main day of the event, there will still be some activities, such as colouring in and a scavenger’s hunt, available to do over the next few days.

Harry Potter Strood Library

Do let me know what you think if you visit the library this week. I’m sure you’ll have a magical time!

Cuddle Fairy

16 thoughts on “Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter at Strood Library”

  1. I must confess, I’ve never read the books but I did watch the movies. I know, I’m so behind on it. I’m afraid I’ll never rejoin the humans if I start reading a series that intense. #BloggerClubUK

  2. This is wonderful, I will have to start adapting Harry’s nursery rhymes to include Potter references! #bestandworst

  3. Wow! That looks absolutely amazing. What a lot of effort has been put in to it to make everyone’s day really special. Great photos too, I love the candles hanging from the ceiling as they do in the Great Hall #bestandworst x

  4. Wow! Now that’s what I call a Harry Potter event. It’s so lovely that everyone got involved in the dressing up and Autumn looks ever so cute. There was not one whiff of a Harry Potter celebration where we are. #BloggerClubUK

  5. Oh I love that they made so much effort! Looks fab, I love Harry Potter the books and the film, I’m thinking I might read them again when I’m on hols! Thanks so much for linking up to the #bestandworst this week!

  6. What a lot of effort has gone into this. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Where has the time gone? Looks like you’ve had a lot of fun!

  7. Ah looks like they have gone to so much effort! I actually used to go to Strood Library toddler singing – well I went twice about 5 years ago! It’s a cute place and the staff look so lovely getting all involved…
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub x

  8. Oh wow look at all that effort, what an amazing library that is! I could definitely go for a cauldron cake. I love that the baby group was HP themed, I would have been in my element there. I cannot believe that it has been 20 years, I feel old… It’s great to see library doing this though as it will help to keep the younger generation interested in HP. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  9. My husband is a big Harry Potter fan and my first experience of it was going to the studio tour when I was 8 months pregnant. We then started to watch the films and I watched one of them while I was in labour! Harry Potter has never quite been the same for me since. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. Oh wow, what a fun celebration! It looks like everyone had a great time with wonderful decorations. I can’t believe Harry Potter is 20 … where did the time go?!! Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK

  11. I’ve never actually seen Harry Potter or read the books and so cant claim to be a fan, but this looks amazing! My children are huge Harry Potter fans so they would love this! Thank you for joining us at #sharingthebloglove

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