Planning to borrow ‘Deathly Hallows’? Get in line, local librarians say.
If you weren’t planning on shelling out the suggested $39.99 retail price to buy Harry Potter’s last wizardly adventure and instead want to borrow it from a library, it may be a while before you can get your hands on it.
Library waiting lists for J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final installment in the series are about three times as long as the number of books available. Library patrons at the end of the waiting list will have to wait probably more than two months to finally read the boy wizard’s adventures, local librarians estimate.
The Amherst Public Library will have 12 copies available, but the waiting list is more than 20 names deep. And with most general-circulation books allowed to be taken out for three weeks, No. 25 on the list theoretically won’t see the book until after Sept. 1.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” officially will be released 12:01 a.m. Saturday — and some Potter fans won’t be able to wait a minute more to learn the boy wizard’s fate.
Unlike many libraries — which won’t be open until Saturday morning — the Elyria Public Library is throwing open its doors on Friday night for a Harry Potter Extravaganza in anticipation of the book’s release.
A wizard’s ball, costume contest and scavenger hunt will create a Hogwarts atmosphere, keeping children, teens and adults busy until the book is released. The Elyria Library will have 33 books available to borrow, many of which will disappear by the end of the party.
Not that that’s all that surprising to librarians. Librarians said they’ve noticed empty Rowling shelves since June.
“People all summer have been checking out the first six and reading them in preparation for the seventh book,” said Jill Ralston, spokeswoman for Avon Lake Public Library.
Public services coordinator Debra Jackson at Lorain Public Library System said there is definitely more hype for this book.
“The fact is this is the last book, and there is all this speculation with what (Rowling) is going to do with the characters — who will live and who will die,” Jackson said.
The Lorain Public Library System will have 42 copies in stock. Elyria, Lorain and Vermilion’s libraries belong to ClevNet library system, a consortium of more than 31 libraries in Northeast Ohio. Library patrons are adding their name to a 1,460-and-growing waiting list. The ClevNet Digital Library Catalog will have more than 660 copies of the book available.
Jackson said it’s hard to determine how long local patrons will end up waiting because of the shared patron database and catalog. Once books are returned to a ClevNet library, the system offers the book to the next person on the list requesting that pickup location. It may take a few weeks before books are circulating between ClevNet libraries, Jackson said.
Grafton-Midview Public Library decided to ditch the waiting list idea, at least until after the book is released. They will have a drawing 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the library for three free Potter books given to one child, teen and adult dressed in a costume. The next nine names drawn can check out the book.
After that, the library will start adding names to its waiting list.
Contact Rania Shakkour at 329-7127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
waiting for harry
Estimated lists at local libraries as of Thursday afternoon:
*Amherst Public Library
Waiting list: 25
*Avon Lake Public Library
All formats (CD, cassette, large print, books): 40
Waiting list (book): 53
Waiting list (all): 80
*Elyria Public Library ^
*Lorain Public Library System ^
*Grafton-Midview Public Library
*Oberlin Public Library
Waiting list: 20
*Ritter Public Library^
Waiting list: 1,460
^denotes member of ClevNet
Steve Manheim / Chronicle
Jared Repas, 8, of Elyria, dressed as Harry Potter, and his sister, Mason, 6, dressed as Hermione at Elyria Public Library on Washington Avenue on Thursday.