The John Trigg Ester Library

JTEL Board of Directors Meeting, Wednesday, July 13, 2011

JTEL Business Office, the Annex, studio #8, 6 pm


Roll Call

Minutes revision from April 11 combined meeting

Minutes from the June 12 meeting

Notes from July 5 design meeting


  • Committee Reports
  • Friends of JTEL
  • grants & cooperation group: status update
  • Officers' Reports

Opportunity for Public Comments

Old Business

  • construction/design decision: passive one-story or superinsulated two-story (basement) VOTING ITEM
  • computing update
  • policies:
    • board conduct VOTING ITEM
    • business plan (update?)
    • marketing & communications plan (update?)
  • organization goals & objectives, re-revised VOTING ITEM
  • community survey update/booth sitting
  • librarian job & duties

Opportunity for Public Comments

New Business

  • presentation from Melinda Harris: Questions & Notes from July 7 meeting with RISE Alaska (Judi Andrijanoff)
  • program development plan/policy VOTING ITEM
  • program proposal: seed library (discussion item?)
  • board member recruitment
    • non-officer board member job descriptions (see board conduct, above) VOTING ITEM?
    • possible candidates
  • recognition of bequests in memoriam (Phil Carboy)

Opportunity for Public Comments


  • LiBerry Music Festival: August 13, organizing update.
  • Library lecture series: Matt Reckard, Ester history? August 17
  • Readers on the Run: Sunday, October 9

Next meeting: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 6 pm JTEL Business

approved at the 8/9/11 board meeting

Call to order 6:10

Attending: Deirdre Helfferich, Monique Musick, Nancy Burnham, Eric Glos, Melinda Harris, Greta Burkart

Guests: Jan Ohmstede, Carey Brink, Hans Mölders

Eric: Accept minutes as amended

Nancy: second, All approved

Will discuss meeting with USKH


Capital campaign was scheduled to meet at this time—will have to reschedule

Construction committee—no special meeting

Friends of the JTEL—no Roy

Grants and Cooperation

  • ECA will work with local groups- the membership voted for it at the spring meeting
  • EVFD is interested
  • Calypso is interested


President’s Report

It has been an extremely busy month for yours truly. As most of you know, I have decided not to run for re-election to the board, for two reasons: 1) it isn’t healthy for an organization to be so strongly identified with or to rely heavily on the same one or two individuals for such a long time, and being a founder, it has been a good twelve years for me. 2) I want my life and sanity back. I love the library, but it’s taking too much out of me, so I wish to sharply limit and delineate any volunteering I do for it. Over the last two years, I have promised to do several things, so I am endeavoring to finish them up before October so I will be free to work on my parts of the annual report (without going completely bonkers from exhaustion as happened last year).

The things I plan to complete before the end of September are: a short, personal vision statement on the library; the design for this year’s Readers on the Run (I will do this by the end of July so there’s plenty of time for marketing the race); an About Ida Lane biography page for the website; finishing up the gazebo trim (with Hans Mölders); a draft privacy policy; and a review and/or edit of the proposed operating budget, business plan, and marketing plan, should they be ready before the annual meeting. I’ve already completed a few of the other things I wanted to get done (see below).

I have been doing several ongoing tasks for the library, and will phase most of them out over the next four months. Others will need to pick them up, preferably board members AND additional volunteers.

Ended in May:

  • maintaining the library (stopped in mid-May);

Ended in June:

  • maintaining the files in the office (other than the billing/accounting files, which Nancy maintains);

Ending July:

  • (ended July 9) providing the survey and link to the public at the Ester Community Market and other venues;
  • creating and maintaining informational and records binders for posterity and for practical use: fundraiser binders (Lalla, LiBerry, Readers on the Run); committee binders (Construction, Capital Campaign; also a general Construction info binder); meeting binders (board, membership); the programs binder (unless I continue on with a program committee); the general business records binder (includes USKH and other contracts and policies, etc.); the grants binders (grants received; general grant possibilities binder); and the design history binder. Note that these binders have considerable information in them that the board should familiarize itself with.

Ending August:

  • publicity for fundraisers (other than website updates);
  • maintenance of the volunteering & membership binder (includes news stories, marketing report, volunteering and membership information, etc.);

Ending September:

  • developing policies (collections, membership, program development, annual plan) (will provide draft of privacy policy by end of September);
  • updating, expanding, and maintaining the website (will continue until new website created, but this will be done by, I hope, September);
  • maintenance of planters at the gazebo;

Ending October:

  • my regular presidential duties (agendas, correspondence, state reports, etc.).
  • reporting monthly or quarterly on the 2011 legislative appropriation and now the 2012 appropriation (my final reports will be for the month of October, created and mailed in November);
  • posting on Facebook or the blog for official events, etc. (except as appropriate for my volunteer work);
  • maintenance of board meeting binder; maintenance of state grants binder (legislative appropriations official files required by the grants, Community Revenue Sharing grants).

Tasks I will continue:

  • adding our books to the online catalog (will continue, if irregularly);
  • serving on program committee for seed library program (I hope!);
  • I’m willing to serve as one of the JTEL’s representatives to the nonprofit cooperative planning/grants group;
  • assistance with grantwriting and/or serving on a grants (sub)committee, should one be formed.

I have begun working on recruiting new board members and volunteers. I’ve contacted Jan Ohmstede, Sue Hills, Bob Grove, and Megan Boldenow as possible board member candidates. I believe it is URGENT that we get our board duties, job descriptions, and code of conduct in place as soon as possible so that candidates have guidelines and understand what is expected of them, and so that the membership knows what its board should be doing and how it should be doing it. It’s a bit difficult to recruit people for something that you don’t have a job description for. Also, I feel that we ought to have general job descriptions/duties for our three regular board seats, possibly on the order of a general recruitment person (board & volunteer), a program person, and an outreach/publicity/member recruitment person. This need not be a bylaws- or membership-driven job description.

The board members, however, should not be expected to do as much of the work of the organization as has been the case. We are going to thoroughly burn out our core in short order if we keep this up. Board members should be point people who work with pools of volunteers and chair committees composed of both board members and others, as is the case in our Capital Campaign and Construction committees. I don’t think non-board members should chair our committees.

I recommend that we form additional committees and put out calls for volunteers for them: a publicity/outreach/marketing committee; a program committee; an events committee; a board and/or membership development committee; a collections development/curation committee; a grants subcommittee of the Capital Campaign Committee; and maybe a maintenance/operations committee (is anybody maintaining the actual library?). Also, committees should be formed well in advance of our specific fundraisers, and timelines developed for each, as Nancy did for the Lallapalooza. Having specific committees that volunteers can join might help get people involved, since they would have an area of interest on which they could focus, with specific tasks/events to accomplish. These committees could be announced at the Annual Meeting or beforehand.

We should have a regular presence at the Ester Community Market to attract local volunteers (at least on Thursdays; there’s a fair amount of local traffic through there). This creates a direct link with the community that keeps the library in the public eye and helps us raise funds and garner members. Developing the Friends of the Ester Library is going to be important. Also, I suggest that we get a non-board member who is skilled in web work to volunteer to transition and maintain the website. (These might all be under the purview of an Outreach Committee.)

Project/Work Updates


Calypso has completed entering their titles (425). JTEL has 1,401 titles catalogued, bringing the combined total to 1,826. To my knowledge, I am still the only one cataloging our books.


Establishment placed on hold as of June 12 board meeting, pending more reflection by board and review of contract language by treasurer and secretary. I made one more pitch via e-mail to the board for establishment before the annual meeting, offering to make up the difference if necessary between the $2,000 the JTEL would contribute to start the endowment and the $5,000 needed by the end of a year.


  • Filed 8th report (for the month of June) with the State of Alaska for the FY2011 Legislative Appropriation; we have $46,599 available in the fund, and received a reimbursement check for $934. I’ve requested reimbursement on our latest payment to USKH, $467. Pauletta Bourne, our grant officer, sent us some more report forms. Nancy Burnham and Monique Musick are also listed on this grant as authorized signers.
  • No word yet on the Community Revenue Sharing funds.
  • Governor Parnell approved the $80,000 Legislative Appropriation request, official notification and grant contract pending. This grant is also on a five-year period, and will expire in 2016. I sent a postcard of thanks to Rep. David Guttenberg for his work, copy attached, before receiving news that it had been approved. I called Pauletta Bourne up the day after the announcement was made to check in with her; her office still prefers that the highest-ranking officer of the organization be the signatory, but also prefers that the same person responsible before for the grant remain as a contact. She suggested that if we have a grant committee, I remain part of it and continue working with or reporting on the grant (I think she was hestitant about turnover during the life of a grant). Copies of the various paperwork on the grant (Senate bill inclusion, Project Summary, original letter to Rep. Guttenberg, etc.) are in the grants binder and the red appropriations file binder (correspondence section, new DLA file).

Letters of support:

  • Letter still pending from the ECA. I also asked Amy Cameron to provide us with a copy of the draft minutes of the spring ECA meeting for our reference.
  • Letter requested from USKH, Inc., pertaining to influence that building design of JTEL has had on company projects across the state, and the implications of this for architectural designwork in Alaska. Matt Prouty planned to get this to us by 5 pm today.

Meetings attended:

  • Calypso Board Meeting, July 11: I attended the July 11 Calypso board meeting with regard to developing partnerships (needs from Calypso or other possible organizations) and the seed library program. I will report on this under New Business. Notes attached.
  • Meeting with RISE Alaska representative Judi Andrijanoff, July 7: Melinda Harris reporting under New Business. The meeting was attended by board members Greta Burkart, Harris, and myself.
  • Meeting with USKH & Thorsten Chlupp, July 5: Discussion and vote under Old Business. I recommend approving a one-storey, passive house design with a foyer and mechanical room added to the current design’s ground floor. This will provide the cheapest option both for long-term operation and up-front construction costs. Cost comparisons are with meeting notes in the Construction binder.

Nonprofit application:

The re-amended articles of incorporation were received and filed by the state on May 31, 2011. I called the state, which sent the Certificate of Amendment via e-mail, which was needed for the IRS. Our application had been placed in suspension because we had not sent this yet, but after talking with them, all should be okay now. The new information was faxed on Thursday, June 30, and the IRS should have had it July 1.


I am persuing avenues for partnership development in connection with the seed library program proposal; hopefully this will give us an idea of what we might need in general to create formal partnerships with other organizations. I am also drawing on the Neighborhood to Nation conference workshops on partnering and community organizing that I attended in May.

Policies & Plans:

  • Revised draft of Goals & Objectives created, sent to board; copy in meeting materials in Board Meetings binder. Copies in the Business and Programs binders.
  • Draft of Program & Activities Development Plan created, sent to board. Note: this is more or less a policy for incorporating programs or activities into a plan; to be adapted for planning purposes as proposals are submitted. Copies in Board Meetings, Business, and Programs binders.

Program development:

  • Draft Program Development Plan created, per above. Proposal process should be decided on.
  • Proposal for Growing Ester’s Biodiversity: A Seed Library Program created, sent to board; copy in meeting materials in Board Meetings binder. A second copy, with supplementary materials, is in the Programs binder. Additional potential seed donors and lecturers have expressed interest, and I am now in correspondence with several seed libraries/community seed banks around the country.

Publicity statistics:

Facebook page has 290 fans

Blog has had 3,380 visits as of July 11, no posts since Thorsten Chlupp lecture (May 2); calendar page updated.

Unfinished business:

Several items have been decided on by the board but have not yet been accomplished. These items have been on various meeting agendas but either the associated tasks were never completed or the item was tabled indefinitely. These should be taken care of, preferably before the new board is elected:

  • remaining items from Lallapalooza (not picked up and/or paid for);
  • plaque dedicating Ida Lane Clausen Gazebo (design completed, not yet sent to an engraver);
  • Into the Woods cabin tour and and associated building decision;
  • computer and donor software setup (I will work with Ulises on this during July);
  • mechanism to recognize bequests;
  • mechanism to recognize major in-kind donors (Note on a specific case: thank-you cards have been sent to Hans Mölders and Jeff Martt for their survey work, but the additional recognition method has not been decided on; these men deserve some form of concrete acknowledgement, and, once the manner of recognition has been decided on, they should be informed of it);
  • a volunteer librarian should be appointed (per the Collections Development Policy) and duties determined;
  • the vendor list with regional weighting (Ester area, FNSB, elsewhere) as required by the Procurement Policy needs to be created. Information for this list has been gathered for construction-related vendors, but many—especially local—construction outfits and non-construction providers (library supplies, etc.) have not been included;
  • the Board Duties & Code of Conduct policy should be finalized and voted on. It might be appropriate to divide this into three documents: board duties and job descriptions/expectations, a code of conduct, and a development/action plan (the annual plan’s role, as a brief bullet-point list of goals for the year, is alluded to in this, and might be thought about for the next annual board meeting’s voting—preparing it ahead of time will make that annual meeting quicker!).


  • Frequently Asked Questions page created, questions and answers posted to website. This includes an essay (on a separate page) addressing the question, “Why We Need a Library in Ester.”
  • About Ida Lane page created and on line, text in process.
  • Draft Board Roles & Responsibilities policy page created and on line, pending final text per board.
  • Draft Goals & Objectives page created, pending final text per board.
  • Draft Program Development Plan page created, pending final text per board.
  • Proposal page for GEB program proposal created, accessible via the Site Map and the draft Program Development Plan pages (

Vice President’s Report

Been busy building- it’s summer

Will step down come October, Will remain involved with construction committee

Nothing to report- missed USKH meeting

Treasurer’s Report

$1497 deposited into savings

No sales to report

  • $100 in fundraisers
  • $403 donations
  • $35 memberships
  • $2.80 dividend
  • $25 pledge
  • $934 reimbursement from State

$802.63 expenses

  • $506.65 Gulliver’s
  • $11747.95
  • $1823.37

Secretary’s report

Will get the requested minutes sent and approved via e-mail

Reimbursement funds

In theory we could spend all the money we have and get it back the next month. It is possible to get an advance as well- need to look into the process. Trick now is to spend things as possible- to our advantage

Received a statement in April from USKH for the same amount as we had paid. We owe them close to $5,000 now.

Melinda: Do we want to try the advance process just to see how it works?

Taking longer could get really complicated. Need to review contract to see how complicated the process is. Let’s keep it simple when we can

Melinda does think it is worth trying, others think easier is better


Construction design decision

The meeting with USKH included Mike, Monique, Roy, Carey, Jan, Matt, Gary and Thorsten. USKH provided some rough figures to show the difference of basement vs. no basement and potential cost savings and payback (See graph provided by USKH).

  • Up to $1.5 million for two-story building (high end)
  • Removing the basement would reduce the cost by over $500,000
  • One story plan~ $647,250

These numbers are not fully accurate- guesses by Gary. Based on commercial not residential- we are closer to a residential plan. Thorsten thinks it could be much lower

Three sources of cost- design, construction 16-18%, operations usually 84%


Ground too cold- needs to be slab on grade for passive haus

Eric- 25-30 years in AK construction. One roof, One foundation- at some point it may as well be a basement, crawl space. Basement slab is thermal mass, Concrete walls are thermal mass, Main floor is thermal mass, That is a lot of additional mass. Passive haus might work well on a house- but we are not a house. Remodeling costs a lot. Recommends full basement and aspire to future passive haus. Basically same amount of money

Carey- how come they estimate the cost to nearly halve by removing the basement?

Constructions cost keep expanding by meeting standards. Buying space is not cheap and we don’t have much room to expand on grade

Melinda- we are trying to avoid sprinkler systems with our occupancy and square footage, how does storage affect this? Whatever we do we don’t want to exceed that boundary. Additions in the future could mean H2O system

Monique-Discussed external storage on site rather than basement storage. Greatly in favor of smaller cheaper building, 100% behind passive haus. Want to bring in Thorsten as a consultant

Eric- suggest aspiring to passive haus

Greta: The cost we need to worry about is how to maintain the building. How to pay the bills.

It is difficult to get money to build but even more difficult to get the money to operate. The efficiency of the two designs- with basement 35% efficient, Without basement- 85% efficient. Passive haus is required in public buildings in Frankfurt and other places

Read letter from Mike Musick in support of passive haus/Thorsten- attached

Hans: If we build passive haus- it will help a lot. The oil savings in the life of the building (150 yrs.) will be huge. If we can build to standard by eliminating the basement. Lots of styrofoam etc to get to R70. In 200 years whoever is around will look at the building as a money maker, not loss. The value will carry

Melinda: If we accept this, what are the costs?

Solar site study about $300, Computer modeling would cost more

Eric:Call the question

[group kept discussing despite attempt to call question]

Single passive or two story basement?

Clarification- Mike and Todd are in favor of single-story

Nancy- can we vote on this without knowing what Thorsten will cost?

Probably less than $5,000

Melinda will abstain unless there is enough information to vote

Deirdre, Monique and Nancy vote in favor of single story passive

Greta also feels we can’t vote until we have the cost information

Thorsten is the local expert- we could go outside if we want. Our real question is do we want a passive house?

Melinda-Familiar with his presentation and design. She and Greta visited his house, Heard his lecture, Not convinced with the evidence

We’ve been wishy-washy all along. We have to have the plan to get the money

Eric- I can be swayed (one-story vs. two-story) to get this moving along. Let’s make a decision and run with it

Thorsten is not the designer- he is the consultant. He will measure the solar gain, efficiency of the building, and help us determine our thermal storage needs. It is not a “Thorsten-house two”. Not concerned as much about Thorsten’s cost as on getting the project rolling. USKH has been wonderful- dealing with our changes

VOTE: Single-story passiv haus- APPROVED BY CONSENSUS

Policies bumped to next meeting

Computing- covered in Pres report

Business plan- in progress

Marketing plan- in progress

Organization goals and objectives

discussed changes

ACTION: Monique move to adopt as amended [as presented, with one change: from “on our land in Ester” to “on the library’s land in Ester”]

Eric- second, All approve

Community survey update

91 online, 39 hard copy. Total 130 surveys

Try and do final push- send it out

Enter the hard copies into Survey Monkey to get the aggregate results, Keep hard copies and hand compile results. Use the simple form- use the questions that get the best results. Find out what really matters

Will provide the aggregate responses- evaluate them, then self-administer a paper copy that really gets to the important things

This is one reason why the market has been so successful- one on one speaking


RISE Alaska- meeting July 7, Melinda:

Met in person with Judy Andrijanoff, Project manager. All her projects are public libraries- entities under city or borough. Made a cold call to Melinda a few months ago. Introduced self as a “project guru” interested in meeting. Said sure- we’re open to talking. Was in town for other meetings- gave us an hour for introduction. Melinda, Deirdre and Greta were there, at least for part, Nancy discussed with them post-meeting

Spreadsheet of state library projects by year. All public projects- ie. Cordova, Juneau, Sutton, Kenai (expansion). Amounts requested- averaged to $2 million- from $350K to $4.7M. Qualifying criteria- a little mysterious- possibly “A-list”. Ready to pay and play- public libraries. We are not that

Did some name dropping etc. Randomly picked name from board website- called Melinda

PM- what role exactly?

Offered to get started talking with folks. Need to compose our financial picture, history- how we have managed funds: Committed, expended, secured, pending. Being able to articulate that fiscal picture is going to be vital when talking to “money”. This will be an important part of our grant funding. This is also a key part of our business plan. Need a complete fiscal picture- elevator speech ready!

Seemed to be fishing about our ability to be a paying customer. Did not let her do any “speaking for us” without understanding what she was in it for. Unless we hire her we don’t want her doing things. RISE Alaska also is really expensive.

Appreciate the reminder that we are not a pubic library. Beyond Books really fits- we are not trying to become a public library. Her time is appreciated- but her services don’t fit

Deirdre-One more thing: great libraries are not warehouses for books- they are active community and civic centers- they are a focal center for a community. She had some great information- but is so focused on a library as a public entity that she missed what we really are. It will be important to have a project manager

Construction management

Are we able to pay for it?

It needs to be considered as one of our costs

Need experienced contractors. An experienced contractor may be better than a project manager. The RISE Alaska model seems superfluous.

Described her statewide funding approach, Works with AKLA. Library construction and expansion program is what she is geared toward- we don’t qualify. She alluded to a relationship with the borough. She also wanted us to ask for more state money.

Wells Fargo- funding libraries

Important to document need, Document affordability. National standards on # of volumes to population

Agreements and cooperation are important. Funding history for the project is really important. Deirdre has made a draft- shared with Monique and Nancy.

This meeting was informational and free- nothing else from her ever would be

Monique- If we end up building using combinations of local labor and subcontract separate parts of the building then we will really need a educated, experienced project manager.

Seed Library

Met with Calypso- asked if they would rather do it than the library. They are done by lots of associations- but modeled off the Richmond Library. Calypso concerned about being over-committed if they tried to do it. Would like to partner with us collaboratively- they do some aspects we do others. As far as partnerships they just need a memorandum of agreement. Had some ideas- Vista volunteer

  • Internship for credit with UAF sustainability office
  • Have interested seed partners
  • Please look at program development plan and proposal- give feedback
  • Excellent meeting- lots of opportunities for collaborative work
  • University would store them- we would keep the records etc.

Calypso interested, Could bring new people to them too

Board member recruitment

Look for contacts- look for skills we need, Make personal invitations

Recognition of bequests- ideas?

  • Special page of recognition- simple
  • Web for now figure out something for the future, discuss at next meeting


Library Music Festival- August 20th. One good venue- no hall- Eagle good

Library lecture: Matt is scheduled for August 17, can we do it Aug 10. Ester History- Nancy will ask Amy about a poster. Confirm with Matt. Deirdre will do news miner. Monique will do Facebook and Blog. Greta will try university contacts

Readers on the Run- Sunday October 9. Who will organize- Greta and Trey

Eric: motion to adjourn

Nancy: second, All approve 8:50

Next meeting: August 9, 2011, 6 pm, JTEL office

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Board of Directors

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