Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Employees of the special collection library want to revive the snail mail

These recycled Christmas cards belong to Shana Morris, founder of the Snail Mail Social at Albuquerque’s Special Collections Library. (Courtesy Shana Morris)

Copyright © 2021

Email just isn’t enough for Shana Morris. She believes that letters should be put in envelopes and delivered in mailboxes.

“To me, the whole experience of getting a letter, going to the mailbox and being there seems more like an event,” said Morris, who works at the Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Special Collections Library, 423 Central NE. “Someone found a card or stationery and took the time to write a personal message. You didn’t just open your computer and start typing. “

Morris’ affection for the old school letter led her to initiate Snail Mail Socials at Special Collections. The next one is scheduled for Saturday.

“Before the pandemic, we had two or three meetings,” said Morris, 52. “People come in and we share postcards, talk about where to find stores that sell stationery or about writing postcards.” Programs or that Sending letters to sick people in the hospital. Sometimes people make their own cards. “

And of course they write letters.

bright spotSo far, she said, the library’s snail mail socials have drawn six to ten people, all of them people like her who grew up before the e-mail explosion rocked the world. But everyone is welcome. Morris said she would really like to see younger people new to traditional letter writing join in, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Morris discovered the existence of correspondent clubs while browsing Instagram.

“Sometimes these clubs would meet in bars or cafes,” she said. “But I work in a library, so we meet at the (Special Collections’) Center for the Book. It’s a nice room with lots of light. “

The library offers stationery, pens, stamps and cards.

“I have a bunch of old Christmas cards that people can recycle,” said Morris. “I have a lot of friends who like to write. They know how I love to get mail, so they go everywhere and send me postcards. I get vacation cards. “

Getting cards and letters is only part of the experience.

“I love writing letters, although I’ve been writing more cards lately,” she said. “I’m trying to be a Christmas card writer.”

So how is your handwriting? Nice italic? John Hancock brave? Calligraphy-like?

“Oh, I’m printing,” she said. “I think I always printed my letters.”

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