The 3rd annual “Hogwarts Homecoming” takes place this Thursday, November 1, from 5 – 7 pm at the McCracken County Public Library. This event will feature all things Harry Potter. McLib will have a “sorting station”, photo-ops, a potions’ class, and a horcrux scavenger hunt! If weather permits, there will also be dancing in the garden. It's going to be a magical time!

iPlayOf course, dressing as your favorite Harry Potter character is encouraged but not required. As always, library events are free and open to the public.

McCracken County Cooperative Extension office will be there providing imitation Butter Beer, made using cream soda and butterscotch syrup.

Corndog Sound & Light is providing a sound system and energized Hi-Tech lighting system sure to turn this event into a party you’ll always remember. The company is also bringing their Mirror Me Booth to mimic the “Mirror of Erised”. As guests walk up to the mirror, colorful animations and a voice guidance invite them to engage in a magical, interactive “selfie” experience presenting a photo keepsake.

The library is located at 555 Washington Street. in downtown Paducah, across from Dolly McNutt Fountain Plaza. Call 270.442.2510 for more information or visit mclib.org.

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The Mirror of Erised

According to the Harry Potter books, The Mirror of Erised is a very old device. Nobody knows who created it, or how it came to be at Hogwarts School. It is one of those magical artefacts that seems to have been created in a spirit of fun (whether innocent or malevolent is a matter of opinion), because while it is much more revealing than a normal mirror, it is interesting rather than useful. The mirror’s inscription (‘erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi’) must be read backwards to show its true purpose.

The 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter

Before there was a movie franchise, and a collection of theme parks, and a Broadway play (two actually); before you could spot wand-wielding children sporting long black robes and know just what they were up to - there was Joanne Rowling’s manuscript. (It was famously rumored to have been partly written on disposable napkins.) It’s about an orphaned boy who did not know he was a wizard.

iPlayIt was rejected by several British publishers, and then accepted by one, Bloomsbury, which published it as “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” with Rowling’s name defeminized into “J.K.” A year later, on Sept. 1, 1998, it arrived in American bookstores as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” with a new cover designed by Mary GrandPré.

There was another publisher, Scholastic, tasked with introducing the book and the wizarding world to American children, and soon enough, across the country there were young readers, and more than a few older ones, clamoring for more…