Volunteer workers needed!

We are in the process of sheet rocking the remaining sections of the Clausen Cabin that do not have sheet rock and could use a few volunteers to tidy the cabin up on Saturday October 22 (noon-4) and Sunday October 23 (noon-4) for the actual hanging of sheet rock. Please contact board member Gary Pohl at 388-8085 or facilities@esterlibrary.org to sign up and help out this weekend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Annual Meeting Recap; New Board Elected

The 2016 JTEL annual meeting was held on a blustery cold Sunday afternoon. We had 12 people in attendance, not including the current board members. President Amanda Bent gave a brief overview, followed by a slideshow narrated by Amanda and Vice President Mo Musick.  Minutes will be posted at a later time and you will be able to view them here.  The following people were nominated for the 3 vacant board positions, and immediately voted in:  Carrie Correia, Marina Day and Eli Sonafrank.  Congratulations to Carrie, Marina and Eli!

Immediately following the meeting, 8 of the 9 board members and alternates met together to decide who was going to be the executive committee.  Syrilyn Tong was elected President, Monique Musick was elected Vice President, Mindy Gallagher retained her spot as Treasurer and Amanda Bent was elected Secretary.  We look forward to working for you this next year!

Posted in Board of Directors | 2 Comments

Annual Membership Meeting 2016 this weekend!

The John Trigg Ester Library has had a humdinger of a year! Come hear all about it, see the details of our construction plans, nibble on the snacks or have a cup of coffee, and find out what your board of directors has been up to! A few highlights include:

  • an internal financial audit
  • remodeling, rewiring, and insulating the Clausen Cabin
  • massive expansion of our collections and reorganization and cleanup of the library
  • completion of Phase 1 of our solar-heated future community building

The meeting will take place on Sunday, October 16, at Hartung Hall as usual, from 4 to 5 pm, doors open at 3. Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved with your local community library! Sign up if you aren’t yet a member, renew if you are, and a metaphorical gold star if you are already a lifetime member!

Posted in Announcement | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Collections and inventory – September 2016

191 books were added to the online inventory in the month of September, most of them from the Helfferich/Crosby collection, but many from the library’s already existing collections on topics as diverse as pet care, tropical fish, woodworking, linguistics, and astronomy. Several biographies were added this month. This brings the total in the catalog to 7,315 items.

The library has expanded its language offerings, including titles in French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and even Yiddish. Other languages are represented also. And, of course, many of our holdings have been translated from other languages into English.

A significant proportion of the books entered this month were mysteries, thrillers, or true crime, with a few titles for young readers and some science fiction. Poetry, art, and literature were also represented. Come check us out!

Posted in Advisory, Facilities | Tagged , | Leave a comment

JTEL Construction Update

This has been a big summer for the John Trigg Ester Library in terms of facilities development, with two key projects moving forward. While a lot has been accomplished there remains lots more to do.

New Passive House Facility Phase 1

Trost Construction has completed their work and the new 12,000 gallon underground storage tank is in place and protected, ready for the next phase of construction. It was completed ahead of schedule and on budget, with no change orders during construction.

Completed 12,000 gallon thermal storage tank.

Completed 12,000 gallon thermal storage tank showing the “tip of the iceberg” as it extends down about 10 feet deep below grade. Photo by Gary Pohl.

Proposals are now being requested for “dormant” hydro seeding of the disturbed areas. Dormant hydro seeding is done after freeze up, spraying a mixture of mulch and seed over the site. Grass will then sprout in the spring aided by snow melt. The seed mix will be a “no mow” type to provide a meadow appearance and stabilize the sloping site. Funding for the hydro seeding will be provided by the remaining grant monies which must be expended by December 31st.

Clausen Cabin

Work has been progressing at the Clausen Cabin, albeit slowly. The Monitor stove has been refurbished and reinstalled and there is now heat on in the cabin again, just in time! Installation of new insulation and furring is nearly complete on the exterior walls, and Bear Electric is upgrading electrical power and lighting circuits inside and out.

The next big step will be to install gypsum wall board on the exterior and interior walls after the electrical rough-in is complete. Approximately 20 sheets of 4 x 8 gypsum board will be needed to complete the interior wall finish.

Huge thanks to our volunteers: Eric Glos for getting the stove refurbished and reinstalling it at its new location; and Mike Musick and Gary Pohl for furring and insulation work. We will need several skilled and semi-skilled volunteers to help with the sheet rocking, taping and painting efforts. If you would like to help please call Gary Pohl at 388-8085 or e-mail him at facilities@esterlibrary.org to volunteer.

Posted in Advisory, Facilities | Tagged | Leave a comment

Readers on the Run Cancelled! Annual Meeting date announced….

Regretfully, the Readers on the Run 5k has been cancelled due to some unforeseen insurance issues. Our next scheduled event is our Annual Meeting, to be held Sunday October 16th, 4 to 5 pm at Hartung Hall. Stay tuned for further details!

Posted in Advisory | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pie Throwdown success!

Unsupervised1Unsupervised playing at the Golden Eagle Saloon

Wow, what a day! The LiBerry Music Festival and Berry Pie Throwdown featured musical styles from klezmer to rock n’ roll bagpipes, and raised just about $3000 for renovating the Ida and Ansgar Clausen Cabin. Many thanks to Sound Solutions LLC and the many bands for providing such great entertainment, and to the more than 20 cooks who brought such delicious food. We had more savory pies than ever before, 5 judges, and our very own Monique Musick, board vice president, ended up winning not only Best Overall Pie award, but the highest-earning auctioned pie, which went for $165!  The other pie winners were Liz and Sarah Furman (Savory) and Rachel Pernick (Sweet).

Speaking of the pies, we have tried to collect the recipes for all entered pies and have compiled them in a special pie cookbook, which are then sold at the Procrastinators’ Sale in midwinter (just in time for Christmas!) and at next year’s LiBerry Festival.  If you entered a pie and would like to have your recipe included in the next edition’s cookbook, please send the recipe, including the how-to, and especially any interesting story or anecdote behind it, to Deirdre Helfferich.

Matt Buxton of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner came out and covered the event, and it ended up on the paper’s Sunday front page!

Special thanks to Grassroots Guitar and Country Kitchen for providing prizes, Gail & Brian Feeney, Nancy Burnham, Pat Turner, Josh Harris, Panika Gumm, Ginny Gallagher, Darcie Fromholz, Deirdre Helfferich, Hans Mölders, and Cat Stephenson, for their timeless efforts helping out with the judging, doors and a myriad of other tasks in order to put this event on. Thanks to all the bands for their wonderful music: Amanda Bent, Mason Little, Almost a Minyan, Kentucky Tundra, Nikki Hunter, Laila O’Sullivan, Sister Crispin, Purple Blues Band, Dead Calm, Tara and her Handsome Gents, and Unsupervised. And as always, thank you to our hosts, the Golden Eagle Saloon and its bartenders!

Posted in events, Fundraising | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Collections and inventory – August 2016

August brought in a total of 233 titles, more than twice as many books as most months this year, and bringing our online catalog up to 7,174. Many of these were part of the Helfferich & Crosby family collection, or were donated by Chris Guinn. A few came from the Ester Post Office. Quite a few have been in our collections for years, but had not been entered yet, particularly in the woodworking and crafts sections. (Quilters, you can now peruse a broad selection of helpful guides to working with fabric, quilt patterns, and the history of quilting from our library.) Many more titles were added to the children’s section as well, although they may not yet be tidily shelved.

The philosophy, religion, and spirituality section has been significantly expanded, and further titles in this section are being shelved every day. Topics range from western philosophers (Aristotle) to reincarnation and the occult to eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism or yoga.

Library hours are 9 to 9, seven days a week, in the lower level of the little red-and-white building near the Golden Eagle Saloon on the Ester village square. Membership forms are available inside to the left of the door, and is only $10 per year. Our annual membership meeting is in October, and you can sign up then, as well, run for office on the board, or vote for board members. Contact us at info at esterlibrary.org for more information!

We hope soon to re-open the Clausen Cabin, after all the renovations are done. This will expand our available shelf space by three times, provide a secure office space, and include a children’s area, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. It will also make thousands more of our titles available to our members in a warm, comfortable environment.

Posted in Facilities | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Monitor moving

August 31, Mike Musick and Gary Pohl moved the Monitor 441 to its new location and drilled a hole for the fuel line. This means we’ll have a warm, cozy cabin come winter! With the temperatures beginning to get nippy at night, meetings in the cabin can be a little chilly, so this is a very welcome step along the way for the to-do list for the Clausen Cabin. Now we just need to hook up the fuel line and we’re in business (at least insofar as meetings go).

Posted in Advisory, Facilities | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Major Milestones of Construction on Tuesday August 30

Tuesday, August 30th was a good day for construction progress at both the new PassiveHaus Phase 1 Project and at the Clausen Cabin.

Trost Construction poured 29 cubic yards of concrete at the PassiveHaus thermal storage tank, starting with the bottom and carefully filling the insulated concrete forms (ICF) and bringing it up on top of a unique “floating formwork” to complete the slab. It was a long day and a beautiful day. Four concrete truck loads were delivered and placed with a concrete pumper. The concrete mix design was formulated with a 6-inch slump and an accelerator to allow deep placement to the bottom of the ICF, which later required extra care and time on the slab up top. Trost Construction really knows their concrete and their crew worked together in a coordinated effort to get it all placed and finished that evening. The concrete will need to cure for about a week and test cylinders will then be broken to check that the 7-day strength is sufficient to commence with backfilling around the structure.

Local residents Eli Sonafrank and Bill Marcos man the hose.

Local residents Eli Sonafrank and Bill Marcos man the hose, which is like wrestling a python.

Tanner McGee screeds concrete around the access hatch.

Concrete is moved, leveled and screeded along the slab and around the access hatch.

Trost Construction generously donated use of their Case skid steer to move the Clausen Cabin fuel tank and stand from the west side to the new east side location. After the concrete pour at the new building, Gary Pohl and Eli Sonafrank headed over to the cabin to move the tank. This task presented a couple of challenges. The first was getting the raised skid steer boom under the telephone and internet cables over the driveway. This required raising them up to gain just enough clearance to drive under them. Placing the tank was the real challenge, however, as maneuvering space for the skid steer was very limited both horizontally and vertically. In the end it required physically manhandling the stand into place on new cribbing while the tank was supported by the skid steer. The eave of the building limited the ability to raise the tank and it was a step by step process, inches at a time. Now that it is in its new location, the Monitor 441 heater will also be moved and hopefully will be up and running soon, as colder weather will be coming.


The fuel tank and stand now sit on the east side of the Clausen Cabin, where a small shed roof will be built over it for protection.


Posted in Announcement, Facilities | Tagged , | Leave a comment