Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- "The trouble was, it was very hard to know where to begin, not knowing what Flamel might have done to get himself into a book. He wasn't in Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century, or Notable Magical Names of Our Time; he was missing, too, from Important Modern Magical Discoveries, and A Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry. And then, of course, there was the sheer size of the library; tens of thousands of books; thousands of shelves; hundreds of narrow rows."
The Hogwarts Library is located off of a corridor on the first-floor of Hogwarts Castle and contains tens of thousands of books on thousands of shelves. Overseen by Madam Irma Pince, the library is where students can go to peruse or borrow books to supplement their studies (or for personal enjoyment). The library closes at 8:00 pm.
Madam Pince is the kind of librarian who sees herself as the guardian and protector of the books, at odds with the students who try to use them. Her demeanor does not suggest that she would be very helpful. In fact, when Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Harry Potter were looking for information about Nicolas Flamel, they decided they wouldn’t even ask her.
Research is very difficult in the Hogwarts library, thus making homework assignments that require additional infomration unnecessarily tedious. As with a helpful librarian, students would not have to spend verious hours simply searching for the information, but using the information that could have been found quickly in the their homework, leaving for time for studying.
In the 1940s Tom Riddle looked in the Restricted Section of the library in hopes of finding a book regarding Horcruxes. He found Secrets of the Darkest Art, a book that gives explicit instruction on how to create a Horcrux; however, he could not find any book that would information on the possibility of creating multiple Horcruxes, since no individual in history had done such a feat before his attempt. Sometime after this, Albus Dumbledore (during his time as Headmaster) removed all the books containing information on Horcruxes from the library.
In 1991 in his first year, Harry Potter used his newly-acquired Invisibility cloak to sneak into the Restricted Section during the Christmas holidays. He went at night in order to look for information on Nicolas Flamel. Unfortunately, he picked up a large black book near the bottom of the shelf that began screaming when he opened it. Worried that he would attract attention, Harry closed it and ran off. Hagrid also visited the library this year in search for books regarding dragons in the Dragon Section of the library. He needed information on how to care for his newly acquired dragon's egg. Also in this year Professor Quirrell sent Harry to library to remove the curse he was under. On his way to the library he met with Albus Dumbledore, who suggested that he look in the Reference Section as a means of help.
Hermione Granger entered the Restricted Section in 1992 in her second year using an autograph from Gilderoy Lockhart, who was the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor that year, though the librarian Madam Pince made extra sure of the note, as though suspecting forgery. Inside, she found Moste Potente Potions, which contained instructions on brewing Polyjuice Potion. Hermione subsequently made the advanced Potion, facilitating Harry and Ron Weasley disguising themselves as Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe and entering the Slytherin Dungeon to question Draco Malfoy about the Heir of Slytherin. Also in 1992, Harry Potter eavesdropped on a group of Hufflepuffs, while hidden in the Invisibility Section
In 1993 Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger studied some of the material in the Legal Section of the Library. They hoped would help Hagrid at Buckbeak's hearing. In 1993 it had an infestation of Imps. A Draconifors-dragon statue can also be found here.
During his fourth year, Harry Potter receives Minerva McGonagall's permission to enter the Restricted Section so he could research a way about being able to breathe underwater for an hour to compete in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, but is unable to find anything useful from any of the books.
- "A warning: If you rip, tear, shred, bend, fold, deface, disfigure, smear, smudge, throw, drop, or in any other manner damage, mistreat, or show lack of respect towards this book, the consequences will be as awful as it it within my power to make them."
- —Warning on the inside of a library book[src]
The library books have various spells on them to prevent students from defacing or stealing them. Hermione Granger tore a page out of a library book about magical creatures without being cursed, jinxed, or hexed by the book. How she did this is unknown. Chocolate and (presumably) other food is forbidden in the library. Harry Potter also showed signs of breaking the security of the library in his first year, when he entered the Restricted Section under his Invisibility cloak.
Taking out books
Students and teachers may take out books from the library, with the librarian’s permission. Books from the Restricted Section require a signed note from a teacher to be checked out. Professor Severus Snape told Harry Potter that it was against the rules to carry a library book out of the castle. However, he may have just made that rule up to get Harry into trouble. Students seem to be able to place books on hold — during the 1992–1993 school year the book Hogwarts, A History had a two-week waiting list.
Professor Dumbledore removed the books pertaining to the subject of Horcruxes, due to the fact that they involve such Dark Magic. He kept them in his office until his death, whence Hermione Granger summoned them before departing in her sixth year.
Included in its many sections are:
- An Invisibility Section
- A Dragon Section
- A Reference Section
- A Legal Section
- A Restricted Section
Behind the scenes
- As the students often use the library to progress in their academics, it is likely there is at least one section of books concerned with every subject taught at Hogwarts.
- In the PC version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the Library is larger and more labyrinth than in the films, perhaps closer to what is implied in the books. There are study tables nestled throughout red-carpeted rooms criss-crossed and walled with full bookshelves, many of which are actually secret passages that Filch uses to travel between rooms quickly. Polished wooden catwalks overlook most rooms here, some with stained-glass windows, and the entire complex is housed in the lower section of the Astronomy Tower. If one continues up through the levels of the library, they will eventually gain access to the top of the tower, where Astronomy studies are conducted. In the GBC version of the game, the library has two floors, the lower (accessed by the second floor) being a very large room filled with labyrinthine paths between bookshelves. The lower floor is where the Restricted Section and the librarian's desk can be found. The upper floor (accessed by the third floor) consists on a very large balcony, overlooking the lower floor. On the GBA version of the game, the library is a very large room with wine-coloured wallpaper. Annexed to the library is a room with many tables and a lectern facing them, possibly a place for lectures. The restricted section is through a wooden door, and it's a very odd room, with many secret passages, pressure pads and deep holes on the ground.
- In the video game adaptations of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the regular area of the library is a massive, cathedral-like area of the castle, with two long arms stretching to the left and right of the entrance, each lined with bookshelves at least five stories high. Wooden balconies line each level, and books can be seen flying like birds from the large, round librarian's desk in the centre of the room, up to the shelves where they each belong. There are also antechambers leading off from this area, up staircases from the main room, some locked or blocked in ways that require certain spells to unseal. These chambers are also lined with high shelves, and some are haunted by seemingly malevolent ghosts. A large cauldron of Wiggenweld Potion can be found bubbling in the Library, free for any student who needs a pick-me-up. The Restricted Section of the library in the game is even more intimidating. Accessed through a portrait in a section of the Library guarded nightly by Prefects, the Restricted section is a set of vast chambers, easily as big as the regular section only much more treacherous to navigate. Ghosts haunt the many halls and antechambers of the Section, some of which will attack the player if they get too close, and many of the doors are smeared with ectoplasm. Objects ranging from books to entire bookshelves may spring to life to assault those who venture here at night, some doors lock themselves, and some are heavily locked to begin with. On the GBC version of the game, the room is quite similar to the same version's previous instalment, only slightly smaller.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Library is divided into separate sections which are distributed throughout every floor of the castle, still containing a number of known secret passages concealed among their shelves.
- In the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince games, the Library resumes its simple layout from the films. The gate to the Restricted section is unlocked in the former game and locked in the latter.
- Another difference in the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince games is that the library is located on the second floor near the Charms classroom, not the first.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (GBA and PC versions only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Appears in alternate realities)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play) (Appears in alternate realities)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (companion book) (Mentioned only)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (real) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- LEGO Harry Potter
Notes and references
- ↑ In Chapter 11 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry leaves the library, walks along this corridor, walks up a staircase, and is then in a corridor around the corner from the headmaster's office. The headmaster's office is, in Chapter 28 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, said to be on the second-floor, placing the library on the first-floor. Additionally, in Chapter 8 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry heads towards the library, changes his mind, ascends a staircase and is then on the second-floor corridor, outside of Lupin's office.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) - GBC version
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) - PC version