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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

How will you mark 20 years since Harry Potter appeared?

[Editor's note: this guest post written by Ayub Khan was also published on the Society of Chief Librarians site]

26 June 2017 is the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury and Pottermore will be celebrating the anniversary with numerous activities throughout the month of June and with events continuing later in the year.

SCL will be marking the occasion by supporting Pottermore’s anniversary celebrations. Pottermore is the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. To mark the anniversary, they are inviting libraries to join in and celebrate the magic with exclusive activities.

For a two-week period (26 June to 9 July), library users will be able to instantly download Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. With no limit on loan numbers during the fortnight, they won’t have to wait.

Pottermore has put together supporting activities and a suite of beautifully designed materials that are available to download from the SCL website. The digital toolkit includes printable posters and flyers, a website banner and social media content.

One of the graphics designed by Pottermore
One of the graphics designed by Pottermore

As well as having fun in libraries, customers will be able to join the celebrations via social media, using #HarryPotter20, or by signing up to the Wizarding World Book Club which is being launched in celebration of the 20th anniversary.

This is the first time SCL have worked with Pottermore and we hope as many libraries as possible will take part in, and promote, the Harry Potter celebrations – in whatever ways they can.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published on 26 June 1997, starting 20 years of Harry Potter magic. I was a children’s librarian in Birmingham back then – and can well remember the impact Harry Potter had. It’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

Do you remember when Harry received his Hogwarts letter, or his first trip to Diagon Alley? Perhaps the moment that resonates with you is when Harry steps onto Platform 9 ¾ and sees the Hogwarts Express for the first time… Whichever moment it might be, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduced readers to the magic of the wizarding world.

From an idea born on a train journey to its creation in cafes in Edinburgh, the book started a global phenomenon. It has sold millions of copies in 79 languages, inspired a major movie franchise, a theatre production, has captivated readers all over the world – and continues to do so.

If your eBook platform supports the campaign and most do, including OverDrive, BorrowBox from Bolinda, Askews & Holts, please join in on Pottermore’s simultaneous read campaign. It would be great if you could get involved in the Harry Potter anniversary celebrations. Why not send out a tweet linking to your library catalogue?

Please note, this is a guest blog. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of DCMS or the Libraries Taskforce

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