The Great Read

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 theme for The Great Read is "Celebrating 20 Years of Harry Potter Magic"! Can you believe it? Two decades have passed since J. K. Rowling published her first Harry Potter book in Great Britain!

The Great Read has been promoting literacy,reading, and conversation in the community since 2004.  This year’s Great Read is planned by the White Oak Library District and these partner organizations: 

Themed programs have been planned at each of the participating libraries, and a complete list of these events is available at, as well as on each library’s website. All programs are free of charge and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Registration may be required. Check listings for details. In addition to the events at each Library, there are an Art Contest, a Kickoff and a Finale that will be of special interest to all Harry Potter fans.

At the Lockport Branch, you will be challenged to a Scavenger Hunt with riddles to find the seven Voldemart horcruxes hidden throughout the Library. You can drop in any time between February 1st and the 28th to participate. Forms are available at each service desk. Those who complete the challenge will receive a prize at the Reference Desk.

All three branches will be having Food Tastings from the World of Harry Potter. We'll be tasting all sorts of yummy treats from Hogwarts and other places unseen by Muggles, plus Butterbeer, sweets from Honeydukes, and so much more. These all age programs are sure to be hits, so don't miss them.
Wednesday, February 1 -- 6:30 - 7:30 pm - Romeoville Branch - REGISTER NOW
Thursday, February 9 -- 7:00 - 8:00 pm - Lockport Branch -- REGISTER NOW
Wednesday, February 15 -- 6:30 - 7:30 pm - Crest Hill Branch -- REGISTER NOW

Art Contest

Create an original piece of art inspired by the Harry Potter books. Entries can be any medium (up to 2 feet in height and width with a weight limit of 5 pounds) or a digital presentation up to 2-1/2 minutes. Bring your artwork to the library by February 20th with a completed entry form, which is available online at and at participating libraries and schools. Artwork will be judged at both the local level (where it is judged at the library where the art is submitted) and at the Great Read Finale level where the winning pieces from each Library are judged. Local level prizes of $20.00 gift cards to Barnes & Noble will be awarded to the best entries in each age level. Great Read Finale winners will each receive $50.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Trivia and Costume Contest Kickoff

Joliet Public Library, Black Road Branch, 3395 Black Road, Joliet
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
We are having a costume contest and a trivia contest with magical prizes for the winners. To compete in the HP Trivia Contest, you must pre-register at Open to all ages. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Hogwarts Magic Show and Art Contest

Fountaindale Public Library, 300 W. Briarcliff Road, Bolingbrook
6:00 to 7:30 pm
Celebrate the Art Contest winners with an award ceremony at 6:00 pm, followed by a special Harry Potter-themed magic show! This fast-paced show features comedy magic and lots of audience participation. Dress in your favorite wizard or witch outfit, and be prepared to cast your own spells during this family-friendly show. Registration is not required.

The Great Read is supported by generous grants from the Plainfield Foundation for 
Excellence and the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library,and additional support from 
Plainfield Township, the Joliet Barnes & Noble, and Voyager Media.

Previous initiatives include: