Ready your wands, Harry Potter fans, because Thursday the South Georgia Regional Library System is bringing Hogwarts to Valdosta.

Those who come to the main branch on Woodrow Wilson Drive between noon-3 p.m. will be whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students will be able to participate in interactive stations, meet characters from the book, and have their picture taken with Dobby, the Malfoy family’s house-elf.

A free showing of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” will follow the program.

“We really wanted to bring these characters to life for our community,” Suzy Butts, the children’s event coordinator for the South Georgia Regional Library System, said. 

The importance of the Harry Potter series can not be underestimated. The series has been translated into 67 languages, making J.K. Rowling one of the most translated authors in history. An astounding 400 million copies have been sold worldwide, rivaling such longtime classics as “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. 

“When Harry Potter opened the door into his magical world, not only did it awaken the imaginations of millions of people, but it also caused a revival in the amount of children reading books. That will always touch a special part of us here at the library and so we are more than willing to have our own Hogwarts celebration to encourage fans and new readers alike to revisit this new classic,” Jennifer Tyler, children’s assistant for the library, said.

Children aren’t the only ones who have become caught up in the mystical world of Harry Potter.  Adults have been huge supporters of the series.

“Harry Potter has inspired reading in a way few characters ever have. This series transcends the boundaries of age and so will our events to honor it,” Community Relations and Development Coordinator Halley Little said. 

Muggles are welcomed to come in costume.

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The South Georgia Regional Library System is comprised of six branches, housing over 200,000 books. The library also offers high-speed internet access, a talking book center for the visually impaired and GED classes.

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