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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Library Love Letters

I really miss writing letters. When I was in my early teens, my mom would buy me beautiful boxed stationary kits with the melting wax and an initial stamp to seal the back. The paper always smelled so good coming out of the box and it was so much fun writing a letter to, say, my cousin about what I had been up to all summer.

As the years have passed, I don't write letters so much anymore. Recently we ran out of envelopes here at MLC, which is really an unusual thing. We never use many of them throughout the year... most of our contact is done by email and over the phone. Of course, it's that way for everyone these days. We are all so busy with such hectic lives, and with cell phone in hand we dash off a text to keep in touch in an instant.

I've had to sit down and actually write a few things down lately and I noticed a significant change in my handwriting. It's not as pretty and fluid as it used to be... a bit rusty you might say. My fingertips can move in a flash across a keyboard, but put a pen in my hand and I have to really think about it for a minute before putting that pen to paper.

With the upcoming legislative session, I want to encourage you to put your rusty writing skills to good use. The Mississippi Library Association is currently promoting Library Love Letters, a library advocacy program. Participating libraries can provide you with a postcard that can be sent to your lawmakers showing them that you support the library in your community. What has it meant to you and your family? Were you able to take a practice test, or land that better-paying job because of using their computers? Did your child attend an outstanding summer reading program?  Share your stories and experiences about your library. Just ask your librarian for a postcard to get started. If your local library isn't participating, it doesn't mean you can't join in. Contact and say you want to write your legislator about the importance of your library. They can provide you with your legislators' names and contact information.

Unless we all stand together in support of libraries and their value, state and local funding will continue to dwindle. Join me... write a letter. You can make a difference!

For more information about the Library Love Letters advocacy program, contact MLA's Advocacy Committee Chair, Jennifer Smith at

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