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Time capsule buried below library

Stuart with the time capsule.

A time capsule with letters to the future has been placed below the new floor of the Castlemaine Library.

Friday 11 October 2019

A time capsule with letters from more than 250 people has been placed below the new floor of the Castlemaine library, with the hope that it will be rediscovered in years to come.

Castlemaine Library Manager Jess Saunders said library staff asked people to write a letter to the future and the response was incredible.

“When we started collecting these letters I honestly thought it would be great if we got 20 or 30,” said Jess.

“But people were fascinated by the idea of writing a letter to the future; of preserving part of our current history and writing to these people who don’t yet exist,” she said.

“People wrote about their worries and hopes for the future – the future of their families, their pets, their town, their environment and their world.

“I found it saddening that so many children were worried about climate change and global warming. There were fears about political uncertainty from both kids and adults, expressed in different ways. There were anxieties, big and small, about personal futures, and the future of our planet.

“But there was also a lot of love expressed for our town and our library. People wrote about their love for the trees, the parks, the spaces and the way everyone seems to know and care for each other.

“They wrote about their love for the great library collection, the friendly staff, the safe and free place it provides to meet and connect with others.”

The time capsule contains letters from people of all ages – kids too young to write drew beautiful pictures, which now live alongside touching letters from older residents who described the changes to the town over the years and aspects that have remained the same.

Along with the letters, the time capsule also contains a current newsletter from the Friends of Castlemaine Library, many photos of library staff and recent library programs and events, maps of current Castlemaine and a book about the history of Castlemaine Library written by Robyn Annear and Robyn Ballinger, titled There Are Not many Votes in Books.

The time capsule was put in place underneath the new Castlemaine library floor at a small ceremony attended by Mayor Bronwen Machin, current and former library staff and dignitaries, community members and Council employees.

The library upgrade is funded by Mount Alexander Shire Council and the Victorian Government 2018 Pick My Project grant, as voted by members of the community.

A pop-up library has been located in the historic Market Building in Mostyn Street since works began in July. The upgrade is almost finished. Once it’s complete the pop-up library will close for a few days while the team relocates the collection back to the newly refurbished library on Mechanics Lane.

Quotes from letters in the time capsule

Things I love about Castlemaine…
• The librarians are the centre of a lot of people’s lives, and they are very kind
• Eating sushi
• I wish there was a toy shop
• I love all the trees
• Ice cream!

I love my library because…
• I hang out there with my friends
• It is quiet
• It is open to everyone for free
• I can borrow as many books as I want to
• It’s nice and calm (spelled ‘nise’ and ‘clam’)

I think that libraries of the future will…
• Have wings
• Probably be the same but with more video games
• Still be there but they will be better
• Have unicorns that live there
• Have a big computer where you can look everything up that is in the library and it will help you find it – (someone needs to show this child the catalogue computer!)

I hope, in the future…
• There are still trees
• Minecraft and Fortnite still exist
• There will be cars that can fly
• We have fixed global warming
• AFL is still a sport
• I hope people help each other and are kind
• There are still fish in the ocean and they are not all dead.
• There are still Tasmanian Devils

Some questions for the future…
• Do you have flying cars?
• Are there REAL hover boards?
• Is there more rubbish than fish in the oceans?
• Is our town still called Castlemaine?
• Do mobile phones still exist?
• How many World Wars have there been?
• Are there still any living animals?
• How high-tech is your technology?
• Have you got robots that do everything?
• Have you found a diamond that is more than 1 meter long?

Image: Librarian Stuart Winser with the time capsule at the Castlemaine Library.

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