By ERIK HIDLE
The Hood River Library will officially reopen Thursday with a celebration of magical proportions.
Harry Potter, young wizard and hero of the “Harry Potter” story collection, will get some help celebrating his birthday.
To accompany the grand opening of the new building, the commemoration of Potter’s birthday will be a party for all to partake, according to library director June Knudson.
Beginning at 2 p.m. there will be screenings of the Harry Potter movies, birthday cake and pumpkin juice, Harry Potter related games and a Harry Potter raffle which will include such items as duffel bags, t-shirts, hats, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.
The library, which has been moved out of its original Carnegie building for the past year, is ready for the influx of guests both young and old alike. Boasting a new 18,000 square foot building and improvements to the style and structure, the new building is waiting for its first visitors.
“It’s tremendous to finally be in here,” Knudson said of the recent move. “We have been gone for a long time, but when you look at the finished product, you can tell it was worth it.”
The library now offers an expanded fiction section, a new “Columbia Room” to house historic and special interest books regarding the Columbia River Gorge, two study rooms, a meeting room and expanded children’s library.
The original building has been completely rebuilt, broken down to its frame and reconstructed with the idea of the historical library in mind, according to Knudson. She said the new look with the old feel will allow members of the community to feel right at home with the renovation while offering them the comforts of the new additions. Among the improvements to the library’s amenities, 10 new computers, all wired for high-speed Internet access, will be scattered in small groups around the building offering, anyone who wishes access to the Web.
With all of the books currently on the shelves, the Hood River Library is prepared to welcome the first of its visitors with the same service and hospitality it has in the past, according to Knudson.
“Everything from our temporary location is sorted and on the shelves,” she said, “There are still some small issues regarding wiring, but I’m optimistic they will come through before the opening. We still have quite a few books we put into storage last year which will be added in a few weeks time, but right now, the library is ready to open.”