Your membership is the greatest gift you can give to the John Trigg Ester Library.

Once upon a time, all libraries were membership libraries, of a sort. Libraries were rare, books were expensive, and the few people who could read them came from the aristocracy or the priesthood. Then public education and the public library were invented, and with them, an opening of a greater world of ideas to everyone (for more on the evolution of the public library, see The Straight Dope). Neighborhood libraries sprang up everywhere—or until the funding crunch hit. Then government bodies have tended to centralize services or eliminate libraries altogether, leaving some areas with limited options.

The John Trigg Ester Library is a form of subscription or membership library, started by Ester residents with too many books on their hands who wanted to be able to walk to their local library. We love the public library system, and want to emulate it as much as we can, so we keep our membership costs low. Membership is open to anyone—you don’t have to live in Ester to be a member of the JTEL.

Aside from paying dues once a year and making sure you bring back the things you’ve checked out, participating in a membership library requires a bit more attention and involvement (but not much more) than a public library. While anyone may come to the library and read books on the premises, members can check out itemshave the right to vote, propose items at meetings, serve on committees, or run for and serve on the boardIn other words, the JTEL belongs to and is run by the membership. Since the library belongs to the membership, it is up to the members to take care of their library.

The JTEL is an all-volunteer organization. It’s up to you to make sure that the library keeps going. If you’d like to have a certain book on the shelves, please buy a copy for the library! If the garbage is full, go ahead and take it to the dumpster. But most important, use the library. The easy chair is comfortable, and the books are there to be read.

To join us, please sign up for membership in the library. For more information, please see:

Membership requires the following:

  • payment of dues
  • attendance at annual meeting
  • due care and return of items checked out

While not required, volunteering at work parties, on committees, or at fundraisers is greatly appreciated and helps keep your library going strong. If you would like to take a more active role in your library, please contact any board member, call 374-8080, or e-mail Thank you!

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