"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.


HogwartsLibrary PM B1C12M1 HogwartsLibrary Moment

A section of the library

Quite strict where the rules in the library was concerned, 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, whom she did not allowed to eat, talk, laugh, whisper, sneeze or scurry in the library. Overall, her demeanour does not suggest that she would be very helpful, making research is very difficult in the Hogwarts library. As a result, completing homework assignments that required additional information became unnecessarily tedious. As with a helpful librarian, students would not have to spend hours simply looking for the books they needed, but using the information that could have been found quickly in the their homework, leaving less 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.


"The Restricted Section was right at the back of the library. Stepping carefully over the rope that separated these books from the rest of the library, he held up his lamp to read the titles."
First year Harry Potter wonders into the Restricted Section[src]
Trio in library

The trio researching in 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.


The trio in the library in their second year researching Polyjuice Potion

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 PotterRon 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.

Trio library

Harry Potter looking for a book on how to breathe under water

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. Perhaps this was because the trio were looking in the wrong section. Harry also came across the book Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed when researching spells for the first task. He was looking for books comtaining simple spells, as Sirius suggested that the way to deal with a dragon is relatively. Harry also checked out books for the third task in order to prepare, some of the spells he learned were the Impediment Jinx and the Reductor Curse

In her sixth year in 1997, Hermione Granger had "been right through the restricted section" when looking for information on Horcruxes. Also during this year Harry studied Everlasting Elixirs in N.E.W.T. Potions class, taking notes on them in the Hogwarts Library from his copy of Advanced Potion-Making, which the Half-Blood Prince had annotated. He had Hermione were forced out of the library after Madam Pince saw his gratified book and looked as though she was going to have a fit.


"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.


There are overdue records on the library due date sheet. Ron Weasley had Quidditch Through the Ages overdue.



The Restricted Section

Included in its many sections are:

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

    Irma Pince office outside the library

    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.


Notes and references

  1. 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.
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) - GBC version
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) - PC version

First-floor of Hogwarts Castle
First-floor girls' toilets · Moaning Myrtle's bathroom
Class 1 · Classroom 1A · Classroom 1C · Classroom 1D · Classroom 1E · Classroom 4F · Classroom used for storage · Classroom with maps of Great Britain and Ireland · Muggle Studies Classroom
First-floor corridor · Library corridor · Passage of the Fouls · Tapestry Corridor
Halls and rooms
Detention Chamber · East Wing · Hospital wing · Library · · Rear Hall · Severus Snape's storeroom
Minerva McGonagall's office · Poppy Pomfrey's office
Other locations
Stone Bridge
Portraits, statues and other artwork
Bearded man · Elizabeth Burke · Count · Fat Friar · Female nurse · Male nurse · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Hengist Rawkes · Scholar · Google Stump
Staircase to the second-floor corridor · Staircase to the Serpentine Corridor · Staircase to the library corridor