The Mystery of Madam Pince – Spring 2012 Program

The Mystery of Madam Pince: What We Know, What We Don’t, and Why it Matters

Alison Jones, Carson-Newman College

Thursday April 12th, 2012 6:30-8:30 pm
Pendergrass Library A-113 Veterinary Medical Center (VMC)
University of Tennessee 2407 River Dr 37996-4541


Park in Lot 66, labeled S66 on the map above.  Lot 66 is located behind the Veterinary Medical Center, between EJ Chapman Drive and Service Drive.  Note: NO permit is needed after 5 p.m.

6:30-7:00      Social Half Hour   ~ Snacks and Soft Drinks Provided~
7:00-8:30      Program in Classroom A-117 Across the Hall

About the ETLA April 2012 Program: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has furthered literacy and promoted reading arguably more than any other recent work. They are beloved, favorite books of many a librarian, whether school, public, or academic. Yet, when librarians read the series, they don’t see themselves reflected; rather they find Madam Pince: the unlikeable, unhelpful, and often noticeably absent librarian. J. K. Rowling has apologized for Madam Pince, stating “if they’d had a pleasant, helpful librarian, half my plots would be gone. ’Cause the answer invariably is in a book but Hermione has to go and find it. If they’d had a good librarian, that would have been that problem solved.” What do the books suggest? Is Madam Pince simply a bad librarian or does she represent an old stereotype of librarians? Is she simply absent when Harry, Ron, and Hermione have the greatest need of her assistance? Alternatively, is Madam Pince simply a plot device because a library could not exist without a librarian? More importantly for librarians, why should we be concerned by this portrayal?

Speaker:  Alison Jones, Assistant Professor of Library Science and Instructional Services Librarian, expands on her fall 2011 presentation “A Librarian’s View of Madam Pince: Promoting Stereotypes, Perpetually Absent, or Plot Device?”  at the Replacing Wands with Quills: A Harry Potter Symposium for Muggle Scholars at James Madison University.
Click here to return to ETLA Programs and Events.