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Mayor's Office

2007 Media Releases

July 19, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, 441-8565

Mayor donates book certificates for Library to use as prizes

Chris Beutler took a short break from serious City business this morning to announce that he is personally donating certificates for ten of the latest Harry Potter books to the Lincoln City Libraries. The certificates will be awarded as prizes at upcoming Library parties to celebrate the release of the seventh and last book in the series. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow” by J.K. Rowling will be released Saturday, July 21.

The Mayor said his donation was prompted by Neal Obermeyer’s editorial cartoon in the July 15th Lincoln Journal Star implying that the Mayor did not know who Harry Potter was. Beutler said the paper had “seriously misrepresented my stance on one of the most important issues of the day,” and he was making the donation “to set you ‘muggles’ (humans) straight.”

“The book’s release is causing minor hysteria in the community not seen since the Quidditch World Cup,” Beutler said. “But there is a somewhat serious point to our fun this morning. Whether we are working on the budget or planning events to encourage kids to read, our focus must be on the next generation. It’s our job to show the wisdom of Dumbledore to look ahead at the kind of City we want for our children. And it’s our job to prepare our children for the challenges that the future may bring.

“The Harry Potter series has its critics,” said Beutler. “But no one can deny that the books have gotten kids to read. And many are sharing that reading experience with their parents.”

The Libraries have planned Harry Potter parties at three locations to celebrate the book’s release. The drawings for the book certificates donated by the Mayor will occur at these parties.

  • Gere Branch Library, 2400 South 56th Street (will include movie marathons)
    • Friday, July 20, noon to 6 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 21, 10:15 a.m. to noon
  • Anderson Branch Library, 3635 Touzalin (will include magician)
    • Saturday, July 21, 10:30 a.m.
  • Walt Branch Library, 6701 South 14th Street (will include magician)
    • Wednesday, July 25, 7 p.m.

Pat Leach, the Library’s Youth Services Supervisor, said the library system will have 285 of the new Harry Potter books available for check out beginning July 21.

Leach said Lincoln’s summer youth reading program has 9,747 participants so far this year, an all-time record. For all summer programs at the library, attendance was about 13,000 in June 2007 compared to 8,000 in June 2006. “I believe the excitement generated by the Harry Potter series has prompted more kids to discover the joy of reading and explore other kinds of books as well,” said Leach.

For more information on the Harry Potter parties or the Lincoln City Libraries, contact the Library’s main office at 441-8500 or visit the City Web site at (keyword: library).

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