A Hidden Library Gem

I’m a reader and during this time of hibernation before the start of my personal new year (birthday), I’ve increased my thirst for a good book. Yes, I could buy new books and donate them to Vinnies or gift them to friends when I leave and yes I’m also an e-reader with lots of books in my tablet library, but I also like to join and use Libraries in the areas where I’m staying.

This post was to be about a most impressive modern library I recently joined instead it will also describe a delightful little gem of a library I stumbled across by chance or serendipity

Bunjil place is an archictectural feat. Incorporating the Casey Cardinia Library, galleries, a theatre and cafe, you can’t help but be pleasantly overawed by the burnished spectacle which symbolises both the local terrain and the powerful myths and stories of the local Indigenous clans.

“BUNJIL THE CREATOR

The impressive architecture and the name, Bunjil Place, were inspired by stories of Bunjil (also referred to as ‘Bundjil’) by our First Nation’s people.

These are extremely special, parable-like stories about Bunjil, the ‘creator’.

Though each tribal group has their own special relationship with and stories of Bunjil, there are themes that connect the City of Casey to the Bunjil story across our traditional owners the Boon Wurrung, Bunurong and Wurundjeri peoples, such as referencing Bunjil as the creator spirit that carved man from the land (or clay).

There are also elements that are specific to each First Nation’s group that embed the story firmly into the vernacular of each tribe such as the species of eagle and the local topography Bunjil may inhabit.The City of Casey acknowledges the unique stories of all traditional land owners.

These are extremely special, parable-like stories about Bunjil, the ‘creator’.

Though each tribal group has their own special relationship with and stories of Bunjil, there are themes that connect the City of Casey to the Bunjil story across our traditional owners the Boon Wurrung, Bunurong and Wurundjeri peoples, such as referencing Bunjil as the creator spirit that carved man from the land (or clay).

There are also elements that are specific to each First Nation’s group that embed the story firmly into the vernacular of each tribe such as the species of eagle and the local topography Bunjil may inhabit.The City of Casey acknowledges the unique stories of all traditional land owners.

Housed in such a building, the library can meet the needs of the diverse and growing South East Melbourne communities and I was pleased to find books I had wanted to read for some time available for loan. Yet on my way to return

these books, I stopped in a suburb with a small village feel and looked up to see a an old fashioned library sign


I opened the door and my! What a delightful nostalgic experience!

The library of my childhood re-emerged in look, smell and touch.

The libray of my childhood, Mosman library, was located in a spacious Victorian two story house. The Childrens’ library was located upstairs where it was said that a woman had hanged herself from the cast iron railings in the late 1880’s and her ghost haunted the building each evening-or so the sensational story went in my group of friends. I would awake from reading a book to tentaively avoid the late afternoon shadowy corners, imagining those hands of the spectre reaching for me.

It was a magical place where I spent saturday afternoons reading a wide range of books eventually graduating to the adult section.

As I explored the little Berwick library I was delighted to find that they had a wide range of older books not usually seen in today’s modern libraries which house and tend to favour the latest releases.

This library had both; the old and the new- how special! And librarians who enter your choices on a card- no modern self service machines here! As I touched and smelt the books from times past when Australia and the world was a different ( not necessarily better !)place, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the existence of this unique repository of delight, learning and pleasure open to all at no cost to the borrower.

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