In 1997, a stuffed koala was borrowed from Parks Victoria, and for some reason, never returned. The koala found a home above the reference collection at the back of the Library, and could sometimes be seen wearing different hats, according to the season.
In 2011, the koala mysteriously went missing. It came back in 2013 – at the start of the State Festival. There were all these trees in the foyer, and the koala was found sitting under one of the trees. He had a note on him which read “Please return to Caslemaine Library. A good bear”
Library workers suspected Aaron, who was a long time frequenter of the Library, and who liked to practice his exercise moves and tell stories, as the one who found the koala – and returned him.
The koala’s name is Raphael – after an early Mechanics’ Institute member (Mr R) who used to fall asleep and snore loudly in the reading room.