Tonight: Create your own 'Hobbit' adventure at The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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The folks at the Carnegie Library are looking for someone to share in an adventure.

It's "A Night in Wilderland," a gathering of people who can't wait for tonight's midnight showings of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," a new movie featuring characters and settings from "The Lord of the Rings," by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Wilderland, however, isn't as far away as you might think.

You can find it in the fabled Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Oakland where workers have organized a party tonight to celebrate the return to Middle Earth.

Apparently, even though librarians love books and hate noise, they have no problems with movies.

"We want to let people know that we get really excited, too, when books get made into movies," said Holly Anderton, who manages the first floor of the main library. She and Kelly Rottmund, who manages the library's teen department, are the ones who crossed the Misty Mountains to put the event together.

"It's a fun way for folks to celebrate and experience their anticipation," Ms. Anderton said.

Comparing books and movies, she said, is like apples and oranges. Even though they're different, they're kind of the same.

"We also have a well-circulating DVD collection at the library," Ms. Anderton said. "We promote all kinds of literacy, whether it's the written word or spoken or visual."

This isn't the first time the library has jumped on the movie bandwagon with a big pre-show party. The first was back with a "Spell-a-bration" for one of the Harry Potter movies, and they've been doing about one a year.

"We did one for 'The Hunger Games,' too," Ms. Anderton said. "And we replicated it in smaller terms with mini-parties at some of our branches for the 'Twilight' movies. The teen department just had a really cool alternate homecoming, the theme of which was based on 'The Perks of Being Wallflower,' a movie that came out in the fall.

"It's fun because it's an all-ages event. And folks can be as loud as they want in the library. So that's different."

But tonight's Hobbit-forming event could be the biggest of them all.

Not only are fans encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters -- Yes, there will be prizes for best costumes -- but there will be all sorts of things to do.

"The food we have will be Shire-inspired, you might say," Ms. Anderton said. "Lots of carbs and homey foods. Like a second breakfast."

There also will be activity stations where library volunteers will help guests make Hobbit slippers, decorate Hobbit cupcakes or compete in a Tolkien trivia contest.

"It's a way to calm your nerves while you're waiting for the start of the movie. It's something to do with all that excited energy," Ms. Anderton said. "It's just another thing the library has to offer, another fun way to commemorate the event.

"And it's fun for us. Librarians have a wide range of tasks we have to accomplish. But if one of them is to decorate an area for 'The Lord of the Ring Toss,' it makes our day a little bit better."

There's no prize for the winning trivia team. Just Bilbo braggin' rights.

A big hit is expected to be the Wilderland photobooth, where you can have your picture taken and inserted digital-computer-wise into a scene from "The Hobbit."

The event is from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the main library, 4400 Forbes Ave. And like virtually everything involved with the library, it's free and open to the public.

Then, when it's over, the adventure continues as guests are expected to scurry off to midnight showings of the movie. (The library is not involved in arranging tickets or transport, but you might make some new friends who will help you on your journey.)

You'll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.

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If you have a suggestion for something to do some evening, let us know about it. Contact Dan Majors at dmajors@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1456. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/


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