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ABOUT THE HARRY POTTER COMMUNITY RE-READ


As you may know, I had planned to do a Harry Potter re-read during the month of July, and yet here I am two-thirds of the way through the month, and I have not started. When I was planning our modified Summer Reading program, I thought it would be fun to do some kind of book club style program. Harry Potter is an important book series to me, as it is to many people, and it seemed like a good choice. The series is widely accessible through the library's print and digital resources and many people own their own copies. Plus, the act of rereading a beloved book often offers comfort and joy in difficult times. But the idea of rereading Harry Potter right now, in light of J.K. Rowling's continued anti-transgender activism, does not bring me comfort or joy. It has, instead, made me wonder about the ethics of promoting an author who is using her voice, her enormous platform, and incredible wealth to cause harm. This is not a new dilemma; there have been other writers, directors, producers, actors, athletes, whose behavior brings up this same conflict. I'm interested in hearing what other people think and how they handle this, whether it is with Rowling or with other creators. I wonder too if there is something in the text of Harry Potter that might shed some light on this issue. If you have thoughts on this, please share them with me: longviewlibrary@mylongview.com

If you'd like to learn more about this topic, here are some resources:

New York Times: Harry Potter Fans Reimagine Their World Without Its Creator

An open letter to JK Rowling's blog post on Sex and Gender, by Sophie Grace Chappell

Daniel Radcliffe responds to J.K. Rowling's tweets on gender identity

CNN: J.K. Rowling's bigotry is painful and maddening

Death of the Author 2: Rowling Boogaloo. Lindsay Ellis on separating the author from her work.

Thanks,
Becky Standal