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Galter Library Brings Magic to Lurie Children's Hospital


On Wednesday, January 17th, librarians from Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center visited Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital with a magical mission: to share Harry Potter’s world of witchcraft and wizardry with Lurie patients, their families, and staff members.

Librarians installed Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in the Lurie Sky Garden for the day. The exhibition, created by the National Library of Medicine, travels around the country and was on loan to Galter Library for six weeks. It consisted of six large banners that explore the medieval and Renaissance people, ideas, and books that inspired J.K. Rowling when she created the magical world that parallels our own.

To promote the exhibition, Impact and Dissemination Librarian (and part-time witch) Patty Smith appeared on the in-house Lurie television show Storytime with Dot, which is performed in front of a live audience and streams to hospital rooms and other areas. Donned in her best Hogwarts robe, Patty showed Dot and the audience how to use a wand and she shared her knowledge of magical spells, potions, and what it's like to be a student at Hogwarts. One of the highlights of Storytime with Dot is the question and answer giveaway, in which Dot asks the audience questions about what they had learned and children who answer get that day’s prize. And that day’s prize was fitting: a light-up magic wand! Patty also told the audience about her job as a librarian, and how she helps doctors find the information they need to do their best work. Patty and Dot told the audience that, like Patty, librarians can help you find what you need: whether it’s a good book to read or information on learning magic!

Over the lunch hour, Special Collections Librarian Katie Lattal and Collection Development/Special Projects Librarian Ramune Kubilius joined Patty in the Sky Garden to help children with a Harry Potter-themed craft: making banners for their favorite Hogwarts house! They could decorate a felt banner with a Hogwarts house crest (that’s Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin for those who don’t…no, everyone knows that, right?) and other embellishments. And for those who like to color, there were coloring pages made from the Renaissance era images in the exhibition banners.

The Galter librarians worked with Lurie staff to organize this day as part of a larger program of events accompanying the Harry Potter’s World NLM exhibition. The exhibition was on display on the first floor of the Galter Library from December 18, 2017 to January 27, 2018. Follow the link to learn about the other events that were held:


The banner exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Curated by Elizabeth J. Bland.

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Updated: March 5, 2020