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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Progress on new library’s Phase 1

Tuesday morning, May 10th at 10 in the morning, the JTEL held a non-mandatory pre-bid conference for contractors and subcontractors interested in possibly working on the first stage of the new building, the thermal storage tank. Representing the library were Gary Pohl and Deirdre Helfferich (and large dog Oskar); ten or eleven area builders showed up and, after a few questions, we all went for a walk in the crisp early sunshine to see the land at 488 Village Road. Pohl will be posting an addendum in response to the questions; for more on the plans for Phase 1, photos, the addenda, instructions, and more, please see our Bid Documents tab.

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Finance Committee agenda, 05.04.2016

Finance Committee minutes April 13, 2016

  •  Old Business — Finance
  • Inventory of Restricted Funds
  • Laptop findings
  • Quick Books
  • AK Library Association renewal
  • March Finance report
  • Memberships
  • Un-reimbursed Reimbursement forms progress
  • Renewal of domain name
  • New Business
  • Insurance policy
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Collections and inventory – April 2016

In the last month, 107 new titles have been added to the inventory, including a couple of movies. Almost all of them are, of course, ones that we have had for many years and simply hadn’t yet gotten into the catalog.

Our total inventory as of the end of April is 6,564 titles.

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Clausen Cabin construction stage 2

Even more work has been done on the construction in stage 2 in the cabin plan. Eric Glos is once again helping out, disconnecting and moving the old Monitor out of the corner, replacing the areas in the floor nearby that had succumbed to dry rot, and moving the toilet and vanity out of the bathroom area in preparation for the outer wall insulation and ADA reconstruction of the new bathroom. New volunteer Pat Mowry has put in a couple of hours so far too; many thanks to both of you!

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