Harry Potter in the Library


The Library staff have been hard at work creating a display dedicated to the Harry Potter books and items based on library-related quotes from the seven Harry Potter books.  The Harry Potter phenomenon started on the 26th June 1997 when J.K. Rowling’s Philosopher’s Stone was published.  The author was then know as Joanne Rowling and some first edition copies include this name.  The films followed between 2001 and 2011.

Picture of the words 'Harry Potter'
Harry Potter Display
Written and researched by Special Collections Librarian, Claire Arrand.

Witches have been present in children’s literature since Grimm’s Fairy Tales in 1812 but the success of this series has taken the world by storm, something never envisaged in 1997 after the struggle to get the first book published.

  1. Philosopher’s Stone (1997) Film (2001)
  2. Chamber of Secrets (1998) Film (2002)
  3. Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) Film (2004)
  4. Goblet of Fire (2000) Film (2005)
  5. Order of the Phoenix (2003) Film (2007)
  6. Half-Blood Prince (2005) Film (2009)
  7. Deathly Hallows (2007) Film (Part 1 2010, Part 2 2011)


The literary critic A.N. Wilson writing in The Times says: “There are not many writers who have JK’s Dickensian ability to make us turn the pages, to week – openly, with tears splashing – and a few pages later to laugh, at invariable good jokes…We have lived through a decade in which we have followed the publication of the liveliest, funniest, scariest and most moving children’s stories ever written”.

Wilson, A. N. (2007) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. The Sunday Times, 29 July. Available from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-by-jk-rowling
[accessed 7 Nov 2019]

Picture of display
Harry Potter Display


Hermone Granger definitely has the right idea where libraries are concerned.  “But why’s she got to go to the library?” “Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron, shrugging.  “When in doubt, go to the library”. (Chamber of Secrets, 189)

Reading lists

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Set books:

All students should have a copy of each of the following:

  • The Standard Book of Spells, (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
  • A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
  • Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
  • One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
  • Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
  • The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
    (Philosopher’s Stone, 53)


They bought Harry’s school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar symbols and a few books with nothing in them at all.  Hagrid almost had to drag Harry away from “Curses and Counter-curses” (Bewitch your friends and befuddle your enemies with the latest revenges: hair loss, jelly-legs, tongue-tying and much much more) by Professor Vindictus Viridian.  “I was just trying to find out how to curse Dudley”. (Philosopher’s Stone 62)

Second year students will require:

  • The Standard Book of Spells, (Grade 2) by Miranda Goshawk
  • Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Gaddings and Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Holidays with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Voyages with Vampires by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Wanderings with Werewolves by Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart
Picture of display
Harry Potter Display

The library in Harry Potter

“The Restricted Section was right at the back of the library.  Harry…held up his lamp to read the titles..a large black and silver volume caught his eye.  He pulled it out with difficulty, because it was very heavy, and, balancing it on his knee, let it fall open.  A piercing, blood-curdling shriek split the silence.  The book was screaming!  Harry snapped it shut, but the shriek went on and on, one high, unbroken, ear-splitting note….stuffing the shrieking book on the shelf, he ran for it”.  (Philosopher’s Stone 152 & 153)

“So Harry, thinking that he would soon have enough of the library to last him a lifetime, buried himself once more among the dusty volumes…though he asked Professor McGonagall for a note of permission to use the Restricted Section, and even asked the irritable, vulture-like librarian, Madam Pince, for help… ‘Lumos’, Harry whispered fifteen minutes later as she opened the library door.  Wand tip alight, he crept along the bookshelves, pulling down more books – books of hexes and charms, books on merpeople and water monsters, books on famous witches and wizards, on magical inventions, on anything at all that might include one passing reference to underwater survival”.  (Goblet of Fire 419-424)

The first mention of Irma Pince is found in the Philosopher’s Stone (p. 146):

“Madam Pince, the librarian brandished a feather duster at him. ‘What are you looking for, boy?'”

A more detailed description appears in the second volume:

“They dropped their voices as they entered the muffled stillness of the library.  Madam Pince, the librarian, was a thin, irritable woman who looked like an underfed vulture…. She stalked away between the lofty shelves and returned several minutes later carrying a large and mouldy-looking book”.

(Chamber of Secrets, 123-124)

“The only other sound was the slight squeaking of one of Madam Pince’s shoes, as the librarian prowled the aisles menacingly, breathing down the necks of those touching her precious books”.

(Order of the Phoenix, 475)

“‘WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?’… Madam Pince was swooping down on them, her shrivelled face contorted with rage.  ‘Chocolate in the library!’ she screamed. ‘Out – out – OUT!’  And whipping out her wand, she caused Harry’s books, bag and ink bottle to chase him and Ginny from the Library, whacking them repeatedly over the head as they ran”.

(Order of the Phoenix, 578)

“‘The library is now closed’, she said. ‘Mind you return anything you have borrowed to the correct – what have you been doing to that book, you depraved boy?‘ ‘It isn’t the library’s, it’s mine!’ said Harry.  ‘Despoiled! she hissed. ‘Desecration! Befouled!’  It’s just a book that’s been written in! said Harry, tugging it out of her grip.  She looked as though she might have a seizure: Herminone, who had hastily packed her things, grabbed Harry by the arm and frogmarched him away”.

(Half-Blood Prince, 288)

“Meanwhile, the Hogwarts library had failed Hermione for the first time in living memory.  ‘I haven’t found one single explanation of what Horcruxes do!’ she told him.  I’ve been right through the restricted section and even in the most horrible books, where they tell you how to brew the most gruesome potions – nothing at all!  All I could find was this, in the introduction to ‘Magick Most Evile’ – listen – ‘of the Horcrux, wickedest of magical inventions, we shall not speak nor give direction’… I mean, why mention it, then?’ she said impatiently, slamming the old book shut; it let out a ghostly wail. ‘Oh shut up’, she snapped, stuffing it back into her bag”.

(Half-Blood Prince, 357)

Picture of display
Harry Potter Display