mail call!


I have been working on a slow-motion project that I thought I could mention once I was finished, but now that it’s ground to a halt I will mention it now. I got a package of fifty US state postcards at the Tunbridge Post office for a few bucks. This was a month ago. I figured “Hey I know someone in every state, right?”

Wrong. I know someone in every state except North Dakota and West Virginia.

The project started out like gangbusters. I set a limit of five postcards a day at the outset. I sent postcards to family, friends, librarians and other random people I’d exchanged mail with in the past. Things started to slow down after the first 30. Once I was down to 15 I started trawling facebook looking for friends in regional networks. Once I was down to eight I took them to the Computers in Libraries conference and specifically sought out people from distant lands like Missouri and Mississippi. Then I asked Twitter when I was down to five.

Now I have two left. Does anyone know anyone in North Dakota and West Virginia? It’s embarassing for me because I stayed in Fargo at one of the most fun library conferences I ever went to: NDLA. I stayed with a librarian and her family who had the same last name as me and we watched a Daniel Johnston documentary. However, I’m not sure if she’s still working at the same library and I felt weird pitching a postcard into the void as if it was somehow cheating, so I’ll wait. And West Virginia, I’ve been there too. I was totally surprised it would become a sticking point.

So, at this point I’ve sent 48 postcards (plus a few extra for states where I got multiple requests). Including the cost of the postcards, that’s under $20 for a project that kept me busy and problem-solving for well over a month and hopefully cheered up a few folks in various states of the Winter that never ended. Hooray for the mail!

update: mailing the 49th and 50th postcards today, thanks everyone!

What do you think?


  1. I’m in North Dakota. You don’t actually know me, though. I’m more a lurker type than a commenter type. (I’m also technically not in North Dakota at the moment, as I have been displaced by the loverly floods we’ve got going on up here in the upper Midwest. But I still work there and pay rent on a house there, despite not being able to occupy it at the moment.)

  2. I’ve been meaning to drop you a line to thank you for the postcard – it did indeed brighten our day when it arrived 8^)

  3. I can suggest my friend Craig Neidig, in WV:

    Craig A. Neidig
    WV NSDI Partnership Liaison
    US Geological Survey
    WV Water Science Center
    11 Dunbar Street
    Charleston, WV 25301

    I’ve known Craig for about 15 years. We’ve worked together on Census-related stuff and on GIS. Now he’s a USGS bigwig, but still a nice guy.

    If you use this, please tell him I said “hi!”.

  4. I know someone in West Virginia as well. He’s a displaced New Englander and is very much looking to get out of WV. Let me know if you’d like his address.

  5. Oh wow. What a super fun idea. I wish I had thought of this first!

  6. Hi! I’m another blog lurker from North Dakota. :) And I live in Grand Forks. I’m an English teacher/Title 1 Reading teacher who wishes she was a librarian. I love your postcard idea! I’m pretty sure I don’t have all 50 states covered, but as is true of most North Dakotans, I probably know someone who knows someone who knows someone.. It’s all one big small town connection around here.

  7. I got the North Dakota postcard from you today. Thanks! I’m honored to be the recipient of the final postcard. :)

  8. You know Lori West in Fargo North Dakota. You and I stayed at her house when you spoke at the NDLA conference a couple of years ago. Sorry I came to this post so late, since you’ve already sent the card. Anyway, if you want her address you can email me. :)