Pen Pal Program

Calling all letter writers!

Everyone loves getting mail, and having a pen pal is a fun way to meet someone new. You can share your favorite books, recipes, funny stories, and more and communicate via “snail mail”.

Our Northern Valley Libraries are excited to reinvent this new (old) way to connect!

This program is open to anyone, including children, teens, and adults of all ages. Your pen pal may be from any of the participating towns.

Participating Libraries:

  • Closter
  • Demarest
  • Emerson
  • Harrington Park
  • Haworth
  • Northvale
  • Old Tappan
How does it work? (The short answer)
  1. Sign up here.
  2. Starting March 1, you’ll receive notification that you’ve been matched with a pen pal and that a Pen Pal Kit with all the necessary supplies is ready for you.
  3. Pick up your kit at the library and start writing!
  4. Plan to write 3 letters to your pen pal by April 1.
  5. Drop letters off at the library; we’ll mail them.
  6. After the pandemic is over, we’ll have a Pen Pal Party so you can meet your pen pal in person!
How does it work? (The long version)
  • The registration form will ask you to provide your home address and an email address, but this information will not be shared with your pen pal.
  • Your age group will be asked and your preferred age group for your pen pal. Parent/guardian contact info is required for children to participate.
  • You’ll be given the first name and first initial of your pen pal’s family name, along with the town they live in, and vice versa. (For example, Susan M., Old Tappan. That’s all the information your pen pal will receive about you, too.)
  • Your Pen Pal Kit will include 4 notecards and envelopes and a pen. (We’re only asking you to write 3 letters, but we’re giving you room to make mistakes!) You’ll also get instructions and a “Getting to Know You” sheet you can use to get things started with your pen pal.
  • When you’ve finished a letter, drop it off at the library. We’ll fill in your pen pal’s address, add a stamp, and send it to them.
  • Your pen pal is following the same process, so after a few days, you’ve got mail!
  • If you wish to share personal information like your full name and address with your pen pal, that’s up to you, but the library will not reveal that information.