Youth make book time capsules in library program

Photos by Denette Watson
Above, Brittany Silbaugh, 11, of Riverview takes a look inside her finished time capsule book safe at Riverview Public Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program. Madalyn Lake-Harris (below), 11, of Riverview; Bethany Blais, 14, of Brownstown; and Elizabeth Exel, 13, of Woodhaven create a time capsule book safe.


We want to get them into the library and develop a life-long habit of going to the library.’
— Deborah Helton
Library Program Coordinator

Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW — Teen summer reading participants found out on July 24 that they could do more things with a book than just read it. With a hollowed center, markers, masking tape, glue and a little creativity, books became a time capsule and book safe.

The time capsule and book safe activity is one of several activities that the Riverview Public Library, 14300 Sibley Road, has offered for teens this summer.

The teen summer reading program is open to ages 10-18 and is free of charge; however, it is preferred that participants sign up at least a week in advance by going to the library or calling 734-283-1250.

Deborah Helton, library assistant and program coordinator, uses these activities as an opportunity to get children and teens interested in library.

“We want to get them into the library and develop a life-long habit of going to the library,” Helton said. “Our library is sort of like a community center. We have activities for children, teens and adults.”

To make a time capsule and book safe, each participant was given a book with a hollow center, a questionnaire about themselves, and supplies to make their time capsule and safe one of a kind. Participants also were instructed to write a letter to themselves that they would read five years from now.

For Elizabeth Exel, 13, of Woodhaven, this was her first time attending an event at the Riverview library. She normally goes to the library in Trenton where she participates in the summer reading program there, but she was encouraged to make the time capsule by her friend Bethany Blais, 14, of Brownstown.

“I go to the library a lot,” Exel said. “This event sounded fun and I’m really into arts and crafts.”

Blais, a Southgate summer reading program participant, has attended activities at the Riverview library on prior occasions. She saw the flier for the time capsule and book safe activity and thought it would be fun for Exel and her.

Both Exel and Blais brought photographs from home to put inside their time capsules and safes.

Madalyn Lake-Harris, 11, of Riverview, has attended the summer reading program every week. So far, Lake-Harris’ favorite activity was the Under the Sea Treasure Hunt

“The treasure hunt was so much fun,” she said. “This is fun too. It will be interesting to see what we were doing now in five years.”

Lake-Harris’ favorite part of making the time capsule was using a variety of masking tape colors to decorate the exterior of her book. She plans to hide it under her bed and to read when she’s 16 years old.

As a part of the reading program, participants are also invited to take part in the library’s Rave Reviews program, which encourages children to go to the library and read any book for their age level.

After reading a book, they fill out an easy review sheet and put the review into a box. At the end of the program, reviews will be drawn at random from the box, and winners will be awarded prizes.

Rave Reviews runs through Aug. 14.

For more information on the Teen Summer Reading Program go to