First published with The Courier – http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4443506/harry-potter-fever-casts-a-spell-over-ballarat-photos-video/?cs=62

Ballarat Library transformed into a world of witchcraft and wizardry tonight to mark International Harry Potter Day.

Children dressed in robes and glasses spread throughout the library exploring activities like badge, wand box and quill making.

Rhys Smith and Drew Smith are Harry Potter fans. They said they enjoyed the activities at the library, particularly the butterbeer.

Librarian Ruth Adams said the night was a great way to show people what’s on offer at the library.

“We’re trying to encourage all people young and old to come to the library to have some fun,” she said.

Ballarat Library Children’s Diversity Program Officer Meire De Mello said the night is getting bigger every year.

“It’s very rewarding seeing the kids faces, their costumes, enjoying the stories.

“Every year we put in more and more effort to see those faces,” she said.

Families with both younger and older children were enjoying the activities, including the popular butterbeer stall and trivia.

“It’s magic that draws people to Harry Potter,” Ms De Mello said.

“You can be anyone you want in a costume. You can be a well behaved wizard or an evil one.

“Everyone can see themselves in a character.”

Ms De Mello said events like the Harry Potter night tonight was a great way to change the perception of the library.

“We want people to come here and have fun with writing, reading, books and history,” she said.