Growing up with Harry Potter

First things first, I am one of those darn “Millennials” you hear so much about that have destroyed every industry, from retail to napkins. Often labeled as one of the singular, collective Millennial unit, one of the few “products” we agree upon is the magical world of Harry Potter. The literature-based Harry Potter turns 38 on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He has a wife, children, and a job. And Harry’s all grown up now, just like the children that grew up with him.

The Harry Potter book series themselves took off in the late nineties, just in time for all of us in elementary school to learn what “being a friend” actually meant. Reading about the painfulness of making new friends at a new school resonated with 10-year old me since I was simultaneously experiencing this. The friendship that developed between Harry, Ron, and Hermione gave me hope that I would have that too. While I did eventually make some elementary school friends, I didn’t experience that lifelong friendship until later in middle and high school. I still think about the trials and tribulations of those characters and how their friendship survived everything while I strived to keep my own close friendships that strong.

Spoiler alert: if you are reading this, you are probably familiar with the Harry Potter series, but if not, quit reading now! One of the best parts of growing up with these books was getting to experience the “awkward years” with the characters I loved so much. Figuring out how relationships work is trying for any teen (and their parents), but luckily I had several different ones in the wizarding world I could laugh at and relate to. Watching Ginny Weasly pine over Harry during her first year at school, but eventually ending up with him gave me hope that maybe one day I would have a similar destiny with my crush at the time. That turned out not to be the case for me, but my “happy ending” came in a different way. The cringe-worthy moments between Harry and Cho was the story of my daily life. As an adult, I can see now that Ron and Hermione most accurately reflect what an authentic relationship looks like, with bickering and misunderstanding mixed into all the good days.

The world of Harry Potter was a large part of my childhood and teen years. Saying I simply “liked” the books is an understatement. I cried every time a good character died and silently cheered when the villains were killed. When a new book came out, my world stopped until I was able to finish it. To this day, I have yet to find a series that resonated as much with me as this one did. The characters were what made the books; and their relatability made me feel like I knew them and still do as an adult.


Ashlynn is fascinated by “the library’s ability to transport you to another place entirely.”

Ashlynn Powell on her recent trip to Scotland.

Hello, hello! My name is Ashlynn Powell for those of you who don’t know me! I’m a Public Service Associate and the adult programming representative at the Walton Branch. But, that’s not all! I’m also a full time sibling to 3 dogs, 3 cats, a bird, and one beautiful older sister. My parents are both avid readers and lovers of the great outdoors. It’s safe to say I inherited those traits as well as a deep appreciate for animals, both wild and domestic. I also love film and television. As a literature student, I always found myself picking stories apart in the best way possible. I want to understand a character’s motives, what drives them, what makes them
human. I think we can often find so much of ourselves in the things we read and watch and that self-awareness is something that can follow us into the real world. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received has come
from a beloved book.

Before working at BCPL, I was a full time student and a sales associate at a shoe store. Working for my local library was something I always thought I’d like to do at some point in my life. So, when a position finally opened at the Walton Branch, which is a mere 10 minutes from my home, I applied immediately. Within a few weeks, I was settled into my position. The Walton Branch is like a little family of strong and unique women. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing co-workers.

There are many things I love about Boone County Public Library. I spent most of my childhood in the Scheben branch and when I wasn’t at the library, I was begging to go to the library. One of the things that I love most is the library’s ability to transport you to another place entirely. Pick up one book and you’re on the Hogwarts Express, ready for your next adventure with Harry. Pick another and you’re solving real crimes with John E. Douglas, one of the first members of what we now know as the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. Or maybe you pick up a DVD and you’re suddenly battling for your life in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The beauty of this is that it’s up to us to decide which place we want to travel, free of charge, with nothing to lose. BCPL offers an escape and a source of comfort to so many people, every single day! I’m proud to be a part of that. There’s nothing quite like finding just the right book for someone and seeing their ecstatic smile!