Tag Archives: library

Arms Library time capsule flung toward future

ARMS LIBRARY DIRECTOR Laurie Wheeler shows off the goodies bound for the future — possibly as far as 100 years — in a community time capsule, which was promptly stowed within the library’s shiny new copper dome. Roof renovations, years in the making and achieved in 2015, were powered by volunteers.
ARMS LIBRARY DIRECTOR Laurie Wheeler shows off the goodies bound for the future — possibly as far as 100 years — in a community time capsule, which was promptly stowed within the library’s shiny new copper dome. Roof renovations, years in the making and achieved in 2015, were powered by volunteers.

SHELBURNE—Hannah-mugFriends and supporters of Arms Library put together a special box of memories called a time capsule and sent it to the future. It might be opened in 50, 75, or 100 years, making it to 2115.

According to Laurie Wheeler, the executive director of Arms Library and a member of its building committee, the box contains things that will help future generations figure out what today’s generation was all about. It was sealed up in the new roof of the library on Sept. 17 around 7:30 a.m. It will be seen next when the roof is opened up for repairs it might need many decades from now.

“A time capsule is a box or metal tube — a container you specially decide you’re going to put away for the future, and then they’ll see the items we put in there. It’s items that are important to this time right now,” Wheeler explained.

The roof replacement is part of a $670,000 “Put a Roof On It” project that took volunteers three years to complete. The roof that was replaced was built in 1914 with the rest of the library building. It is made of copper, slates, and very heavy, chalky limestone. You can touch pieces of it in the library. Pieces of the old roof copper will be turned into gifts you can buy.

Contents of the packed time capsule include children’s handprints in paint; books, newspapers, magazines, and artwork; letters; and a library card.

Fifth-grader Hanna Chase reports downtown news and features for The BSE Flow. We welcome your news tips at news@bseflow.com.


Plenty to love
in Arms Library’s time capsule

WITHIN A SNUG WOODEN BOX made by local resident Frederick M. Burrington, a trove of goodies gathered this summer waits to be discovered in what Arms Library Executive Director Laurie Wheeler calls “the tippy top” of the library’s rebuilt dome some 50, 75, or even 100 years hence. Those Shelburne Falls denizens of tomorrow will be surprised when they open the box to find:

  • A piece of MUSIC for Native American flute that Sarah Pirtle wrote just for the roof raising;
  • BOOKS: “Quickening,” Susie Patlove’s book of poetry; “In a Wild Place: A natural history of High Ledges” by Ellsworth Barnard, illustrated by Charles H. Joslin; “A Jewel in New England” by Philip Bilitz; and a copy of “The Little Yellow Trolley” from the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, signed by many of the museum’s guests;
  • PERIODICAL PIECES: Local newspaper articles on the Bridge of Flowers turning 85 and the restoration of the library roof; the first seven issues of The BSE Flow; two recent issues of Ginny Ray’s Shelburne Falls & West County Independent; a recent copy of the Greenfield Recorder; a Time magazine from April 20, 2015 (“Black Lives Matter”); and a New York Times front page article on the recent landmark Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality; a Times opinion piece from Shannon O’Neill, archivist and reference librarian at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, on libraries in transition; and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 33, excerpting D. K. McCutchen’s “Jellyfish Dreaming”;
  • AN AUDIO RECORDING AND COLLECTION OF PHOTOS of Laurie Wheeler at the library, discussing libraries, time capsules, and local history, conducted by John Snyder;
  • ART AND EPHEMERA: “Come to the Dark Side,” paper cut art by Sun James; Mohawk graduation program, June 8, 2015; a bookmark by local artist Polly French; a paper bead necklace by Miss Read’s Beads; a Christmas card from Lisa Walker showing the Buckland side of the village and the Bridge of Flowers in the snow; a hand print from Alexis J., who is 3, and hand prints from Elizabeth, Joshua, and Elizabeth Cerone; a postcard of a dry brush watercolor by Frederick M. Burrington; a box and tiny brochure from Jane Beatrice Wegscheider’s The Art Garden; and many tiny items, donated at the last minute that Laurie Wheeler says she considers sacred;
  • BUSINESS HANDSHAKES: A Massachusetts Cultural District pin; brochures from the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association; local business cards; and a Shelburne Falls Co-op bumper sticker;
  • JUST FOR FUN: a “Minions” movie character and Doctor Who “The Day of the Doctor” DVD case; “Popular Items 2015” stickers;
  • LETTERS from Laurie Wheeler and the Shelburne Selectboard; and, of course,
  • An Arms Library CW/MARS LIBRARY CARD.

— Sidebar and photos by John Snyder


What would you stash in a time capsule to help future generations understand our life and times? We’d like to share your answer with our readers — those today and those in the future. Please write letters@bseflow.com.

‘Who Was?’ biographies rock

Joy logoBIOGRAPHIES ARE interesting to read because they’re page-turners. These are often about real-life problems that get real-life solutions.

My teacher last year, Mrs. Page, got me interested in reading biographies. We did reports on them, and I started reading Penguin’s Who Was? books because my friends had them. Now I love reading the series.

Once I started reading biographies I couldn’t stop. I’ve actually finished books instead of getting bored and stopping. I like learning about people.

To me, the Who Was? books are like mysteries: They keep me interested and wanting to know what happens next. Each chapter tells about a problem and the solution.

There are things you don’t expect — real surprises. In fact, Who Was? books are better than biographies in general because they tell more about the happy times in people’s lives instead of just telling the bad times.

Who Was DisneyFor example, in “Who Was Walt Disney?,” the author explains all about the different houses Disney and his family lived in.

Biographies tell the details of people’s lives but the Who Was? books tell about things that people really want to know.

I have also read biographies of Harriet Tubman and Helen Keller, and I’m reading “Who Was Albert Einstein?” now.

Harriet Tubman interested me because she helped people on the Underground Railroad.

Helen Keller was really interesting. I read her biography two or three times. She learned how to read and write even though she was blind and deaf. She had to master sign language and Braille.

She attended a school for the blind and had a strict teacher. Helen Keller is famous because she was one of the first people to who was deaf and blind to graduate from college.

Albert Einstein liked math and science.

I liked that Walt Disney moved to many different houses with his parents. He was a kid who loved attention. He loved playing jokes. He was a more-active-type of guy. He brought a rat into school with a leash. He liked drawing. He was famous because he made cartoons and produced Mickey Mouse and other amazing films.

At school, our reading levels are rated A-Z, and we are tested by using Dibbles testing at school. This tells us what level we read at. Almost all the books in the library and in our classroom are labeled that way.

The Who Was? series is an average of M reading level.

Our teachers really encourage us to read the books in our test results level.

I recommend the Who Was? book series for anyone, especially kids who are looking for interesting books with surprises.

‘Wonder’: ‘Everyone should get a standing ovation…’

Eliza logoI’M READING “Wonder,” by R. J. Palacio, for a third time. I love it and think you might like it too. It’s about a kid named August Pullman who was born with facial deformities, and he’s going to a new school for the first time. He’s starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep.

At first, when he gets to school, he has no friends except for Jack Will and a girl he meets at lunch named Sumner.

Wonder; R. J. Palacio (2012, Random House)
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, published in 2012 by  Random House, is awesome!

Later in the book the whole school goes on an overnight field trip to a nature resort, and there is a movie. August and Jack go into the woods — and they find some mean seventh-graders who try to punch them.

[Characters named] Amos, Miles, and Henry stop the bullies.

There is something August made up in the end of the book, which goes like this: “Everyone should get a standing ovation once in his or her life.”

I received “Wonder” as a Christmas gift from my aunt. I know if a book is good by reading the first two pages, and I’ll say yeah or no. I started reading this one and it was pretty good. If I read a book I like and then I see it on a shelf, sometimes I’ll want to read it again.
My sister, Ainsley has read the book too.

R. J. Palacio has also written “365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts” and [with Michael Chamberlain] “The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story,” which tells “Wonder” from the character Julian’s [the bully] side of the story.

I think it would take an average reader from fourth grade about a half-hour a night for two weeks to read “Wonder.”

Here is a quote from the book: “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” — Auggie Pullman.


Editor’s Note: “Wonder” was No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based author R. J. Palacio calls it “a meditation on kindness.”

“Wonder” tells Auggie’s story through six different viewpoints, but Julian’s perspective was not included. Random House explains, “‘The Julian Chapter’ reveals the bully’s side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?”

The Harry Potter Universe is amazing

Katie logoTHE HARRY POTTER UNIVERSE universe is an amazing thing. Books, movies, clubs, and obsessions.

They all were started by our own J.K. Rowling, who started writing books when

she was very young,  even before she started writing “Harry Potter.”

She said the idea for Harry Potter popped into her head during a train ride. Looking out the window, she imagined a boy wizard with black hair, round glasses, and a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.

Jo said other characters were inspired by people from her past. For example, Professor Snape was inspired by a mean teacher Jo had: Ms. Morgan; Ron Weasley was inspired by Jo’s best friend, who had red, flaming hair and a turquoise Ford Anglia. (When Jo was feeling blue, her friend would “save” her by flying to her, and they would drive off into the moonlight.)

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The original, British title for J. K. Rowling’s first Potter adventure was changed to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for American readers.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The original, British title for J. K. Rowling’s first Potter adventure was changed to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for American readers.

Everyone who wants to get swept up in this world should read the seven books in the Harry Potter experience: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (1997), “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (1998), “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (1999), “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2000), “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2005), and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (2007), all of which show Harry growing up.

I also recommend “Who is J. K. Rowling?” by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso.

In the Harry Potter movies — there are eight of them; the last one was split up into two parts — there are some things that aren’t in the books. Warner Bros. considering making it an animated movie or a movie starring Americans, but J.K. Rowling refused. She said she wanted full-on British people in the movies.

Here is a fun fact: J.K. Rowling earns more money than any other author. She is a billionaire. Forbes magazine said she earns $10 every second!  She’s even richer than the Queen of England.

A certain five people I know (including me) are obsessed with Harry Potter. We love it!  Harry, Ron, and Hermione are interesting characters. Ron, for instance, is not very happy with schoolwork.  Hermione loves it! Harry is OK with it, I guess.

Leah Rosner, a student with me in fifth grade, said it took her “about the whole school year” to read all the books.

“I feel that it is the most important thing in life. I love the fiction and the fantasy of it all. When you read it you can go into your own world: the wizarding world. It’s important to me because it influences me to be different,” she said.