Monday, October 25, 2021
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Letter writing still in vogue at Mineral County Library

by AMY QUINLIVAN
Mineral Independent | October 6, 2021 12:00 AM

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” ― Mark Twain.

Before Twitter, texting, and social media platforms took over society, it was once thought that the telegraph, the telephone, and the typewriter all played a part in the unfortunate demise of good, old-fashioned letter writing.

In recent years, letter writing has been exchanged for other modes of quicker communication. Technology has developed so swiftly that we now expect to be able to talk to people, and get a response almost instantaneously.

Nearly gone are days of sitting down at a desk, putting pen to paper and delicately choosing just the right words to deliver our affections to loved ones far away.

One might say that letter writing has become another lost art form. With modern technology at our fingertips, any love letter, thank-you note, or birthday card can be substituted with a measly text message. “Happy Birthday!” insert emoticon. But what’s missing is the intent.

Technology can’t help you express the emotion behind the communication, from the choice of stationary to spending hours in the card aisle at Walmart. The color of pen you use, writing in print or cursive, even opting for a stylish envelope, each step of the process makes it personal and heartfelt.

All of those special details were things that stood out to Mineral County Branch Librarian, Florence Evans, after a trip to see family. On her vacation she discovered a letter writing group that she wanted to replicate back home in Superior at the public library.

She explained, “Brent and I recently visited our daughter Brandi and family in North Pole, Alaska, and she told me about a group that meets there with this name and concept, so I’ve basically cloned their group. It just seemed like something wonderful, that’s so needed right now.”

This notion of creating a special time and space to forge communications like this really struck Evans, she shared, “Things move so fast now, email, texts, Twitter, so many other ways to have instant communication. A note or letter really do add to the beauty of one’s day, to think that someone took the time to slow down and put actual words to paper. A real treasure to most.”

The new group being sponsored by the Mineral County Library is called CESSS The Day. It stands for Cards, Envelopes, Stationary, Stickers and Stamps.

Held on Tuesdays in Superior from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. patrons are encouraged to sit down, browse through their supplies and write a card or note to family and friends.

Evans noted, “We’ve had several people donate cards to our group, and stamps for mailing. I’m hoping more people come and enjoy our space in the library, and just relax into writing a letter or note to their friends or loved ones.”

The library has lots of paper, cards, and other materials to share but attendees can also bring their own card stock or decorative items.

“Last week, Diane Metzger and I both wrote letters and added bookmarks to our out-of-town grandkids. This week, I plan to send cards as a surprise to my two intown granddaughters. I’m sure they’ll be happy to get their own mail,” Evans exclaimed.

To go along with the new CESSS the day group on Tuesdays, during that same day and time each week locals are invited to come enjoy Lunch at the Library.

Evans said, “I’m hoping some will bring a lunch to enjoy, and write letters as well. What a fun afternoon that could be.”

In addition to CESSS the Day, and Lunch at the Library on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the longstanding CAKLS group gets together from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

This assemblage is also known as the Crochet and Knit Lovers, “CAKLS." Gathering in the lobby Evans stated, “Most bring their crochet and knit projects, and any craft is welcome. We’ve had needlepoint, looms, tatting, so many others. The only limit is what you’re willing to drag in.”

Another fresh library offering this fall is "Confabs." They meet on Mondays at 10 a.m. Each month a new subject is selected and presented by various guest speakers. Evans said, “This month's topic is Homeschooling. Debbie Kelsey is spear heading this fun, popular group.”

Midweek on Wednesdays the Mineral County Parents as Teachers convene for their fun Goose on The Loose Story Time. Thursdays the library book group, The Bees is still ongoing. They meet at 2 p.m. in the lobby. Evans added, “We have a monthly genre, and we all read our own book within the genre, and share our opinions of our book, like a book report. This month’s genre is the first book in a series.”

While CESSS the Day and Lunch at the Library at still gaining more traction each week, Evans explained, “We had 14 at Bees last week and 5 at CAKLS, so established groups are well attended.”

In no time the others will be as well. And for general library needs, or to stop by and meet the friendly and helpful staff their hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays they are open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.