The Emerald City exhibit

The Wicked Witch of the West may be dead, but literacy is very much alive in the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

The Wizard of Oz has inspired a number of other books, artwork, plays and a movie. It also inspired an Exhibition in the Leon S. Peters Gallery on the second floor of the library.

The Arnie Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, in preparation for the Oz: The Books conference brought the collection to the public. The International Wizard of Oz Club co-sponsored the conference.

The director for the center Angelica Carpenter said, “We had a writing contest well before the conference, and we got a hundred entries from local kids. We picked six winners, and they will be honored on Sunday at the conference.”

The center went through many different channels in acquiring the items that help enhance the Wizard of Oz experience for the visitors of the exhibit. The memorabilia displayed in the gallery include movie posters from the Wizard of Oz, a cutout of Judy Garland as Dorothy and a pair of ruby red slippers that were crafted by Christopher Rocha, a local fan of Oz.

Jasmine Harika, an art and mass communication and journalism major, toured the exhibit and said it was interesting.

“The display shows different characters and their different stories.”

Economics major Manjit Kaur accompanied Harika, but said she was not too familiar with the Wizard of Oz.

“I saw the movie when I was a kid, and I heard about the exhibit from the Life section of The Fresno Bee,” Kaur said. “I thought it sounded interesting and wanted to get a better understanding.”

Kaur and Harika are both volunteers for Read Fresno, and they both take part in a reading program with Fresno Unified students. “Reading exposes kids to a whole new world and has them open their minds,” Harika said.

Carpenter said she is very excited about the exhibit and hopes students appreciate the value of Oz as an essential American fairy tail.

“I want people to take away new knowledge about this particular story and the sequels that followed it,” Carpenter said.

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