Prospective and new board members

Getting involved is the most valuable gift you can give to your library!

We, the current Board of Directors of the John Trigg Ester Library, invite you to become directly involved in how the JTEL develops. Volunteers like you have helped the JTEL put on work parties, community events, and do the hard committee work it takes to keep the library running. Because of you, these last few years have been very successful, as we laid the groundwork for a real library in Ester by:

  • operating a small lending library while conducting an informal ongoing survey of local reading habits via book donations and commentary;
  • throwing fundraisers to buy land in the heart of the village;
  • obtaining federal nonprofit status;
  • having an open design process to come up with a highly energy-efficient, extremely low operational cost green building design that will require no fossil fuels to heat;
  • working with the borough and the state to gain the first grants for the new building;
  • conducting a more formal Ester-area survey to determine preferences or ideas on the kinds of materials, programs, uses, facilities, and other suggestions that local library users might have;
  • establishing an ongoing winter Library Lecture Series program;
  • qualifying for the Community Revenue Sharing program;
  • establishing an endowment;
  • creating an innovative seed library program, unique in Alaska;
  • expanding our facilities for the community when serendipity arose to include the Ida Laine Clausen Gazebo and the Clausen Cabin and Community Gardens;
  • establishing the Friends of the Ester Library, with the approval of the membership, to help support our programs, operations, and endowment;
  • providing a JTEL Bulletin Board at the Ester Post Office to keep members and the general public apprised of library locations and activities;
  • conducting the groundbreaking on the new library;
  • completing Phase 1 of the new library building;
  • updating the Clausen Cabin to improve its energy efficiency and electrical standards as well as provide additional space;
  • conducting an internal audit to bring us up to GAAP standards.

All of these efforts provide library programs and services right now to the residents of Ester and are bringing us closer to the day—very soon—when we can walk through the doors of our new library. And as a board member, you, too, can shape this exciting work!

What do I need to know?

New board members receive a packet of information about service on the board. Below are most of the items included in it:

Annual board meeting

Immediately after the annual membership meeting, the new Board of Directors holds its annual BOD meeting to elect officers and hand out packets to board members, determine the day of the month for regular meetings, prepare the draft annual plan (dates of major events), and schedule the annual retreat. The board may elect to go into greater detail at this time on the annual plan, budget, business plan, or other details, or may set aside a special meeting at another time.

In November, the Board of Directors takes a half-day to full-day retreat to orient new members and to focus on one major need of the library. For example, in 2012 this was the JTEL committees, reorganizing them and helping each board member choose a suitable niche.

Run for a seat on the Board of Directors!

Board members are elected at the annual membership meeting, held on the third Sunday in October. The majority of the board must reside in the Greater Ester Area. Nominations are taken from the floor (self nominations are welcomed) or at any time beforehand. A candidate must be a library member to be eligible to run. Information helpful to the membership in making their decision will be posted on line and distributed at the meeting, and candidates are encouraged to campaign.