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Young witches and wizards take part in Harry Potter night at library

The Harry Potter book night event at Gorleston library.

Picture: James Bass

The Harry Potter book night event at Gorleston library. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2016

A magical evening was had by all as a library was turned into a Harry Potter wonderland.

An event was held in Gorleston to celebrate the wizzarding universe created by JK Rowling, as part of a series of events held all across the world.

Around 125 children took part in activities throughout the evening including making their own wands, dressing up and getting to see real-life owls.

Marcus Anderson, a library assistant, said: “We could not have expected that many people. I think it is one of those things where you can really get into the swing of it.

“It was an idea to promote literacy and stories, so it was ticking all the right boxes for us.

“Libraries are not just about books anymore. Libraries are evolving and we are always looking to put on events, and the Friends of Gorleston Library help with that.

“For us it is the interaction. A lot of parents do not read to their children or view it as a particularly important thing.”

He added that staff put in the extra hours work off their own backs to make the event a success.

Rachel Houghton, a community librarian, said: “It was quite a surprise how popular it was. It think there were three reasons for it. Harry Potter has a massive following, the fact that we had the owls from Fritton and on Facebook the event went quite viral.

“It was a fantastic team effort and it really showed the power of social media, it took us by storm. We hope to continue in that vain with other events.”

Staff from Fritton Owl Sanctuary brought in Fluke, a three-year-old barn owl and Shadow, a seven-month-old tawny owl, along to help stimulate the children’s imagination.

The youngsters were able to wear a gauntlet and hold the owls to see the birds up close.

Mark Weston, one of the owners of the owl sanctuary, said: “It is surprising how many children have not seen an owl before. The kids just love it. It makes their days.

“We do a lot of school visits and the pupils get so much out of it, learning about the all the different species.”

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