Collections and inventory November 2016

This month, we received two donations of books on Alaska, dramatically increasing the size of our Alaskana collection because most of the titles were new to us. From Robert Barr, we received a box of books on Southcentral and Southeast Alaska, and from a woman named Patricia we received many old hardcover Alaskana and gold rush classics, both fiction and nonfiction. Several more from the Helfferich family collection were also added. We are expecting more Alaskana to come our way this upcoming month courtesy Eva Anderson, who first sent us a list of titles, only three of which we already had. To all of you: thank you very much for your generosity. Our library collections are the better for it.

We added to our German language titles at the beginning of November, mostly mysteries but one famous novel concerning the Holocaust, Der Vorleser (The Reader), plus a few (English language) science fiction and alternative history titles. We received a biography of Joseph McCarthy and a history of the Mob in New York. Science titles included books on lead poisoning, geological disasters, cats, climate change, and Jungian psychology. There were also many mysteries donated. As to literature, we now have an additional Alice Hoffman title and a popular Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, in translation. We’ve also filled a few gaps in our history and politics section with books on Israel and Palestine, the War on Terror, the history of Paris, and a history on American pop music by Nick Hornby, Songbook.

The total added to the online catalog was 71 titles, again not very many but more than last month. This brings the total in the catalog to 7,436 items.

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GivingTuesday: Please Give and Do Good

gt-heartWell, the day has arrived: #GivingTuesday is here! All over, people are giving to their favorite charities in the hope of improving their little nook of the world, and the power of these multitudes working together to improve the lot of others and themselves cannot be underestimated. Here in Ester, we’ve given you many choices and reasons to give or pledge a little time, money, or goods that will help your local community library—enabling the JTEL to improve the intellectual resources available to the village and its environs. Here’s one last way to participate: give your voice to the community. Participate, speak out, make suggestions, commit random acts of kindness, join a community organization, stand up for what you believe in, feed a friend, get political, help a stranger, meet your neighbor, deliver a gift, mail a letter, pay it forward. A strong community is one in which people give back and speak out. Come join us, and do well by doing good!

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Pie Throwdown Cookbooks for Sale!!

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Just in time for the holidays—the cookbooks featuring many of the yummy, mouth-watering pies featured at the last several LiBerry Music Festivals are on sale now.  This is the 2nd edition, featuring 72 pages in a loose-leaf binder, which allow you to buy all of the best recipes up through 2016, for only $30 plus $7 if you want us to ship it to you.  Because of the loose-leaf format, additional years’ recipes can be added at any time, plus it will lay flat on a counter while making your pies!

If you’ve previously bought the 1st edition (the basic book), you may purchase the 2013, 2014-2015 and 2016 recipe sets (28 additional pages) for only $10 plus $7 shipping.

You can see more information about the pies featured right here.

Unfortunately, we’re not set up for online payment yet (coming soon) so please print out this cookbook-order-form and send it by December 5, 2016 in order to meet our deadline for Christmas delivery.

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GivingTuesday: Check Out A Book

gt-heartThis #GivingTuesday, come to the library! Browse our shelves and find something you like, sign up to be a member if you aren’t one already, and check out a book! There are card pockets with cards in each item, and a jar with pens by the door. The JTEL is in the ground floor of the red-and-white two-storey building on Ester’s village square, 3618 Main Street. We have books for kids and grownups both, plus a few movies, too. There’s a step stool so you can reach the higher shelves if need be. There are a couple of donation jars on the shelves and by the door, so if you would like to drop off your small change or a few dollars, there’s a place for that, too (every little bit helps!).

PS: You could come by before Tuesday if you want. The JTEL is a self-serve library, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We’d love to have you there—but don’t forget to turn out the lights as you go (the light switch is on the left next to the door). Thank you!

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Used books, just in time for the holidays!

JTEL was the only non-borough library represented at the annual Noel Wein Library Used Book Consortium held Saturday, November 26, 2016.  Although there were thousands of used library books on all manner of subjects, we had the very first table next to the entrance, and saw a steady stream of customers throughout the day.  We even sold a few Pie Throwdown Cookbooks and gained one more member!

Thanks to board members Gary Pohl for getting the sauna/storage open and loading up books, Mindy Gallagher for delivering display items to our table, James Rogan for setting up the table, and Syrilyn Tong for staffing the table and delivering books.  A special thanks goes out to our two volunteer members who helped staff the sale table: Pat Turner and Deirdre Helferich.  And a very special thanks to Judie Triplehorn, who coordinated the event and donated 4 boxes of used books to be sold at the sale.  Without you, we couldn’t have made this happen.  THANKS!

Board president Syrilyn Tong and JTEL volunteer Deirdre Helferich staff the sale table at the consortium book sale

Board president Syrilyn Tong and JTEL volunteer Deirdre Helferich staff the sale table at the consortium book sale

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GivingTuesday: Historical Gardens

gt-heartWell, it’s not exactly spring, but experienced gardeners know that the seed and garden catalogs are going to start arriving in December and January. The Clausen Cabin grounds include beautiful flower, fruit, and vegetable gardens planted there by Ida and Ansgar Clausen; Ida was famous for her columbines and delphiniums, and Ansgar continued the tradition after she passed on. When Ray and Lynn Kulp purchased the cabin, they too kept up the flower beds and hanging baskets. The cabin was among the most beautiful in the village of Ester, and we’ve tried to continue that gardening work, turning their vegetable beds into a small community garden and having garden work parties to keep the grounds looking tidy and colorful. The JTEL has started a Garden Group, which meets in early spring to plan the year’s gardening events, such as the timing of the seed swaps.

In addition to the work at the cabin, there are gardens and hanging baskets at the Ida Laine Gazebo; here the emphasis is on perennials and food plants (such as strawberries, rhubarb, nasturtiums, and herbs) as well as flowers. All of this takes a lot of volunteer time to maintain, and donations of plants or hanging baskets help, too. So for #GivingTuesday, I appeal to the gardeners in our village: pledge to join the Garden Group, or to donate your time at a seed swap or garden work party, or materials to repair the raised garden beds, or plants to put in the beds or hanging baskets when we have our work parties, or even something as simple as stopping by during the summer and watering the plants if they look dry. All of this is of immense help, and if we have volunteers on our list ready and able to help us in the gardens, we can keep them looking beautiful and fruitful for years to come.

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GivingTuesday: Library Programs

gt-heartThe JTEL has two programs in addition to its collections: the Growing Ester’s Biodiversity seed library, and the Library Lecture Series. The GEB operates similarly to a book library, except that instead of checking out books, you check out seeds, grow them, and then return some seeds at the end of the growing season. The Lecture Series covers a broad range of topics and is usually held in Hartung Hall once a month during the winter. Both programs are free to the public (although we do gratefully accept donations).

Another thing you could do for #GivingTuesday at the JTEL is to volunteer for one of these programs, by hosting a workshop or lecture, providing volunteer support at a lecture or seed swap, or by sponsoring a program or a program event. Pledges of support or volunteer help are very important to helping the board keep the library running for all members. When needed, board members can contact pledged volunteers according to their preferences, skills, and timing, and those volunteers can accept or not. For example, coming up in spring are the annual seed swaps. Volunteers interested in the GEB program and seed saving, and with gardening know-how would be contacted ahead of time to see if they have time and would like to participate. Or, if you have a topic you would like to speak on for a library lecture, contact the board. They can set up a speaking venue and date. Having a list of volunteers pledged to assist, or sponsors ready to help fund a program ahead of time makes it much easier for the board to make sure that program events happen and are well-publicized.

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GivingTuesday: Community Events

gt-heartThe John Trigg Ester Library throws two to three big community events/fundraisers each year, and we have a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for them, setting them up, finding musicians and artists willing to donate their talents to provide entertainment and prizes, and  arranging for contests and food. This, of course, takes a lot of volunteers to help out. So, for this #GivingTuesday, one thing you could do that would help the JTEL a lot is to pledge to either donate money or prizes at one of these events, or to pledge your time, either as an entertainer or a volunteer helper/organizer. These community events are very important, and are where we earn the bulk of our operating funds. Let the board know if you would like to help out. We need you! And thanks.

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GivingTuesday: The People We Love

gt-heartToday is Thanksgiving, and while I thought I wasn’t going to write a post for #GivingTuesday, I’ve changed my mind. Today we cook for the people we love and sit down together and eat with them. We remember our favorite family stories and roll our eyes at the two members of the family who always get into some kind of disagreement. Maybe we distract them with a food or water fight, or the Dictionary Game later on. In our family, it was always a tradition to get snowed in on Thanksgiving (somehow the weather almost always cooperated) and play endless rounds of Monopoly or Pounce. And we would remember the family members who were no longer there, and their stories and recipes.

The JTEL has a goodly collection of cookbooks with traditions from many countries, courtesy Maggie Billington. Other people have donated books on microwave cooking, traditional cuisine of Australia, and cookbooks where the main ingredient throughout is sauerkraut. We’ve got everything: vegetarian cooking, campfire cookery, smoking, fish, mushroom cookery, fondue, etc. You can check out a cookbook for this holiday or another coming up, or for just making your breakfast.

Among the people remembered by their families and the library today who won’t be with us are: Ruth Jasper, discussed below; Pat Davis, an amazing local artist and library volunteer who lived on Alpha Way; and Phil Carboy, a garrulous and community-minded man who, with his wife Genevieve, ran Gold Hill Liquor & Gas for many years. These people, and others now gone, added imeasurably to the quality of life here in Ester. May we do likewise.

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JTEL at the annual Noel Wein Library Consortium

JTEL will have one table of used books that we will be selling at the annual Noel Wein Library Consortium Sale, this Saturday (November 26) from 10 AM-3 PM.  It’s in the auditorium of the Noel Wein Public Library and the whole room is filled with books!  If you like books, you can’t miss this sale, and the prices can’t be beat.

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