[kids-lib] Children's Librarian in Maine Seeks Partner Libraries for Pen Pal Club

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Wed Sep 28 12:24:53 PDT 2011

I am posting the information below on behalf of Angie Herrick. Please direct all inquiries about the pen pal club to her: childlib at skowhegan.lib.me.us<mailto:childlib at skowhegan.lib.me.us>.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us

OSLIS || www.oslis.org
Learn to Research. Research to Learn.

Hello fellow librarians!

I am a children's librarian from the Skowhegan Free Public Library in Skowhegan, Maine looking to find other children's librarians across the county to help me with a project.  I have had an idea to form an old-fashion pen-pal club for kids aged roughly 8-14; but when searching online, I felt like nothing was safe enough, or it wasn't free, or it wasn't quite what I was looking for.  So, I thought I would try to create my own.

My idea is simple:  Search around for a few different libraries, spread across the country, which also have an interest in starting a pen-pal club.  We round up a group of kids interested in participating (whether it is 1 or 50!) and have the kids fill out an information sheet with NO last names or home addresses, (keeping it safe!) just hobbies, ages, interests etc.  Then all the forms can be mailed/e-mailed back to my library where I can match all the kids with a pen-pal with similar ages and interest from a different state.

After that, we can agree to have our pen-pal kids meet at our libraries once a month where they can write/read that month's letter. Then we, the librarians, will collect, and mail (through the post office not e-mail) the letters to the other appropriate libraries.  This way, it is safe (no personal addresses or pertinent information is ever swapped) and everyone should write and receive one letter per month.


I am really excited and hoping to get at least 5 states to participate.  So many kids can't travel and/or don't know the world outside their own little town.  I really just want to offer my young patrons a safe way to meet new friends and learn about different people and places.

Any feedback/suggestions are welcome and, of course, if you are uninterested in doing this, or just don't have the time or resources, that's okay!  Just let me know what you think as soon as possible, so these kids can start writing some letters.  My goal is to have this program up and started by the beginning of the new year!  Please feel free to e-mail me at childlib at skowhegan.lib.me.us<mailto:childlib at skowhegan.lib.me.us> or call me at (207) 474-9072 and chat with me about this idea.  Thanks for taking the time to read through my letter.  I look forward to hearing from you!


Angie Herrick
Children's Librarian
Skowhegan Free Public Library
Skowhegan, Maine

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