Cotton Ginny at the Malemute

The 2016 poster á la art nouveau, created by Amanda Bent.

The 2016 poster á la art nouveau, created by Amanda Bent.

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Flowers at the gazebo

Ida Laine Clausen, for whom the library gazebo is named, was locally famous for her green thumb and her beautiful flower gardens. She and Ansgar grew columbines and delphiniums, violets, ferns, trolius, veronica, and bright hanging basketfuls of lovely flowers every year. In that tradition, the current gazebo garden beds have been enriched each year with new perennials, and the hanging baskets there kept up with eye-catching annuals. Recent additions to the perennial beds include forget-me-nots, donated by Judy Stauffer (thank you, Judy!), which will make a nice counterpoint to the pink and red sweet williams and the lilies which are coming back stronger than ever this year. The delphiniums there are also blooming and intensely purple-blue. The native vetch and a few trolius add touches of lavender and orange.

The hanging baskets are not yet fully planted, but thanks to Jennifer Jolis, I was able to plant four of them with nasturtiums yesterday. They are still small but beginning to form buds anyway.

When it turns sunny again and if you’ve a mind to, please feel free to plant annuals in the blue pot by the road, the washtub planter, or in the hanging baskets. If you’d like to plant perennials, we have space in the beds by the roads, and as you can clearly see, sweet williams, tiger lilies, and delphiniums do very well. Also, help yourself to the strawberries!

(Photo coming soon!)

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Collections and inventory – June 2016

A total of 114 items were added to the online catalog in June, bringing our catalogued item count up to 6,800 books, movies, and musical recordings. This month’s entries were largely children’s books, philosophy and metaphysics, and history.

We are also now testing TinyCat, which features a much more user-friendly search page. Please check it out and let us know what you think. The board will be voting on whether to keep using LibraryThing at its July 6 board meeting, so please let us know soon!

A draft instruction manual for volunteers who would like to help add items to the online catalog is now available for viewing and commentary as well.

A work party is set for 6:30 p.m. on July 5, meeting at Just A Store at Chena Pump and Chena Ridge roads, to pick up and sort through a book donation (several boxes of books). If you would like to join the caravan and help us out, please come!

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JTEL Bulletin Board

The Friends of the Ester Library got permission from our esteemed local postmaster, Reneé, to put up a special bulletin board for the library at the post office. Naturally, this new bulletin board is right above the book exchange shelf!

Library news and opportunities of all types will be posted on the JTEL Bulletin Board, such as:

  • volunteer needs and opportunities at the library
  • community events
  • fundraisers
  • work parties
  • program information
  • how to donate to the library
  • endowment information
  • thank-yous for special groups and individuals who’ve shown themselves to be outstanding bibliophiles
  • construction updates
  • membership information
  • meeting dates
  • and more!

So when you are dropping books off or picking them up, check out the bulletin board and find out what’s happening at your local community library!

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Library table at the community garage sale!

Garage sale update: The Friends took in $179 in sales, donations, and memberships on behalf of the John Trigg Ester Library, after the Auxiliary received their percentage. Many thanks to volunteers James Rogan, Hans Mölders, Deirdre Helfferich, and Mindy and Ginny Gallagher, who helped set up the three tables, with Deirdre, Mindy, and Ginny sitting the table during the event (Hans made a run for fried chicken, too). A few books were discovered that shouldn’t have been out on the sale tables and were quickly rescued. Overall one box of books sold, a few movies, two trays of houseplants, a vanity, a few gewgaws, and four boxes of books on tape.

The Friends of the Ester Library are hosting a table or two at the Ester Volunteer Firefighters Auxiliary Garage Sale this Saturday, June 11, from 9 am to 2 pm. We’ll have library memberships along with books, seeds, odds and ends from auctions, clothes, and miscellaneous items donated by members of the community. We’ll also have some larger items to furnish your house with: a vanity, medicine cabinet, toilet, and various other bathroom and kitchen appurtenances.

But to do this, we’ll need YOU! help moving, setting up, and packing up the morning and afternoon of the event will be vital. To find out more, please call Deirdre at 479-3368.

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Stalwart volunteers at the Clausen Cabin

Some incredible progress has been made today at the Clausen Cabin, thanks to the amazing efforts put forth by volunteers Eric Glos, Josh Harris, Hans Mölders, Mike Musick, and Gary Pohl. These men worked in rain and wind all day to get the cabin level and the structural supports and timbers in place. The cabin floor is now strong enough to support the weight of the books to go in it. This was a major task on our project list, and these volunteers got rather soggy and cold in the process (one said that he didn’t want to sit down because his clothes were completely soaked through and he’d be dripping in unmentionable places if he did). Most went home immediately after the job was done (around 5:30 pm) to take hot showers and have dinner. Mölders is going to dry out for a bit in front of the stove at the Golden Eagle before heading home.

Monique Musick took photos, posted on Facebook and below.

Mike Musick and Gary Pohl moved these timbers, delivered by Northland Wood, on Saturday the 4th, while it was still sunny and warm.

Hans Mölders, dripping wet in the downpour. Mike Musick and Gary Pohl moved these timbers, delivered by Northland Wood, to the front lawn on Saturday the 4th, while it was still sunny and warm. This put them in place for sliding under the cabin.


Josh Harris resetting the front door of the cabin.


Gary Pohl and fellow volunteer Eric Glos creating treated wood supports. The fuel oil tank was moved a couple of weeks ago, and will be moved to a new spot on the other side of the cabin.


Glos by the back stairwell using heavy jacks to bring the building up or down as needed.

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Collections and inventory — May 2016

As with last month, the addition to our online catalog was significantly larger than in 2015, since no books were entered in May 2015. We are adding cookbooks, many of which have been in our collections since 2003. Also included are books on wine and beer and home brewing, specialty cuisines from around the world, vegetarian cookbooks (including such classics as The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook and Rachel’s Kitchen), books for diabetics, cooking for one, cooking for multitudes, camp cookery, and cooking with microwave ovens.

This month, we’ve entered 122 mouth-watering books about food and cooking (with a few children’s books and a bit of history as well), bringing the library’s total collections to 6,686 items.

Chris Guinn and Merritt Helfferich have asked about donating books to the library, as have many others over the years. This year, the JTEL plans to hold a sale of odds and ends collected from previous fundraisers and from duplicate books and other items. We’ll let you know when that’s coming up, so if you would like to donate books to the sale or for us to go through for our shelves, you’ll have time to contact us and bring them by. We will be looking for volunteers to help us sit the sale table and sort books. Keep your eyes and ears peeled! And thank you.

Addendum: the Friends of the Ester Library are going to have a table at the Firefighters’ Auxiliary Garage Sale on June 11, Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm. See more details here.

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JTEL New Library Phase 1 Construction is coming up!

Site Photo TankThe new Passive House library building on Village Road will be literally “getting into the ground” this summer! On Tuesday, May 24th at 2:00 pm, a total of eight bids were received for the construction of the new underground, 12,000 gallon insulated concrete thermal storage tank. The low bid was below the Architect’s estimate and comfortably within our budget of grant funds that must be expended by December 31, 2016 on the new building project, leaving adequate contingency and the potential for adding additional work. The successful bidder is Trost Construction, Inc., a long time Fairbanks contractor, and the JTEL Board of Directors today approved issuance of a Notice of Intent to Award to the successful bidder for both the Base Bid and Alternate No. 1 – Performance and Payment Bonding. The Bid Tabulation showing all the bids and the Notice of Intent to Award (NOITA) are now posted under the Bid Documents tab of the JTEL website.

Another important milestone was the receipt of the Plan Review Certificate from the State Fire Marshal, which is the building code authority having jurisdiction in Ester.

SFM Certificate

SFM Plan Review Certificate

After the submission of required documents, including bonds and insurance certificates, an Agreement with Trost Construction will be executed and work can begin. A ground breaking will be occurring in the near future, and the project will be completed late this summer or early fall.


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Open for bibliophiles!

The John Trigg Ester Library is open 9 to 9 daily, but somehow a rumor got started that we are closed until the cabin is fixed up—not true! Our doors have always been open at 3618 Main Street, with a cozy chair loaned by Frank Therrell and pillows donated by Judy Stauffer. We’re on the ground floor of the red-and-white two-storey building next to Frank and Amy’s log castle. Come on in, sign up for a membership, and check out a book. Or sit down and stay a while!

Cozy chair at 3816 Main Street facility.

Cozy chair at 3816 Main Street facility. Photo by Gary Pohl.

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A view inside the cabin

Things are happening! Eric Glos, volunteer extraordinaire, framed in the new office and bathroom of the Ansgar and Ida Clausen Cabin. Next step: leveling and strengthening the building’s floor. (Photos by Gary Pohl.)

framing bath framingcorner

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