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Harry Potter’s World: Exhibit at Dana Medical Library

Friday, November 9th, 2012

In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he discovers his heritage, encounters new plants and animals, and perfects his magical abilities. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the seven-part series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power.

This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series.

Harry Potter’s World is currently on view at the Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont and will remain until December 14th, 2012.

Please visit the exhibit online at www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/harrypottersworld.

This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Curated by Elizabeth J. Bland.

Choose Privacy

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Choose Privacy Week, an initiative that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age, takes place May 1-7, 2012 and is an ongoing program of the American Library Association.


Because we believe that freedom of speech is meaningless without the freedom to read. Confidentiality and privacy are essential to these freedoms, because if library users have to worry about being judged, punished, or put under surveillance, they may censor themselves. They may not seek answers to their questions or read the things they want to read, either in print or online. To be free and to govern themselves, people must be able to explore ideas—even controversial ones—without fear. You can read our policy at http://library.uvm.edu/about/policies/privacy.php

This video from the American Library Association features Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and social media users and experts talking about the challenges to privacy in the digital age.

In September of 2011, the University of Vermont Libraries co-sponsored an Jeff Chester’s talk on “Digital Media at the Crossroads” at Champlain College. Chester, Executive Director for the Center for Digital Democracy, lectured on the topic of digital democracy, the role of online marketing agencies, changes to policy affecting internet users and their privacy, neuromarketing, and data profiling.

To learn more about privacy, visit the Bailey/Howe Library. Handouts on privacy and our policies are available at the Reference and Circulation desks.

Want to take action? Tell your representatives in Washington how important privacy is to you.