Lincoln Academy librarians Cathi Howell, aka Professor McGonagall (left) and Jennifer Betts, aka Professor Trelawney (right), pose with Harry Potter int he LA library.

Lincoln Academy librarians Cathi Howell and Jennifer Betts pulled out all the stops in October to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The book was the subject of the October Books and Brunch monthly book discussion group, but given the enormous impact the Harry Potter books have had on the current generation of high school students, the librarians decided to expand to a full week of Potter celebrations.

“I like to connect our Books and Brunch sessions with other things happening in our library and around the school and community whenever possible, and I knew we could have lots of fun with this,” said Cathi Howell. The librarians cleverly connect Harry Potter with the Library’s Maker program, by making jewelry, bookmarks, and wands throughout the week. They encouraged participation from the Library Team, who sponsored a trivia contest and movie showing for interested LA students. There was a door prize of a full set of Harry Potter books, and on the day of the Books and Brunch discussion, the librarians encouraged costumes, and dressed up themselves as Professors McGonagall and Trelawney.


Golden snitches were one of many treats that greeted Harry Potter fans at the library celebration.

“I very much enjoyed the time I spent at the Harry Potter Books and Brunch,” said senior Olivia Richmond, who showed up dressed as Harry himself. “It was amazing to see how many fans, of all ages, were at Lincoln Academy. Truly a wonderful way to spend my lunch period.”

It was a magical week all around. The bottom of the library stairs was transformed into the magical Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, which only magical people can enter. All student participants received their “Hogwarts Letter,” which were left as if by an owl on the library windows. Howell, who loves to bake, made homemade pumpkin pasties and “sorting cupcakes” which had a color in the middle indicating the eater’s Hogwarts House choice (all students at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry are sorted into the four houses Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor). In addition to these homemade confections, the lunch menu was prepared by LA Dining services straight out of the pages of Harry Potter.

“What I loved most about this event was that it served as a reminder of how much fun we can have around literature,” said Howell. “Sometimes it is important to have fun, for both students and adults alike!” During the week the LA Library was certainly abuzz with fun: students and teachers could not stop remarking at one magical surprise after another: homemade polyjuice potion, chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and golden “snitches” that contained a chocolate treat.

HP group

Potter fans dressed up for the 20th anniversary Harry Potter celebration in the Lincoln Academy Library.

November’s Books and Brunch title is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, a sci-fi novel set in the year 2045. Members of the community, whether or not they have Lincoln Academy connections, are welcome to participate. Copies of next month’s book are now available in the LA library, and the discussion will take place on Wednesday, November 29 over lunch in the library. Contact Cathi Howell ( for more information about Books and Brunch.