To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list.
~ John Aikin
The Ester library has approximately 8,000 items on the shelves and another 7,000 in storage. The collection includes books, audiobooks, movies, puzzles, and board games. It also includes the Growing Ester’s Biodiversity program seed library, a collection of flower, fruit, and vegetable seeds.
Almost the entire collection has been donated by local residents. Some books have been donated by libraries around the state or by government agencies, such as the Natural Resources Branch of the U.S. Army’s Directorate of Public Works for the Alaska Garrison. Some books, usually ones that will fill gaps in series already owned by the library, are purchased using the JTEL account at Gulliver’s Books to which patrons may donate their used book credit. Some titles come from the book exchange shelf at the Ester Post Office. Duplicate titles, books in rough condition, or books unsuitable for the collection (such as textbooks), are donated to the post office book exchange, used at fundraisers, or given as door prizes for the annual meeting.
Our Collections Committee reviews our Collections Development Policy every few years (currently in need of review!) and is responsible for keeping nifty and important books in the library according to the JTEL philosophy. Banned books are in plentiful supply on our shelves!
Shared Online Catalog
The JTEL has an online catalog with www.librarything.com that shows the books and other items in the collections. The JTEL shares its catalog with Calypso Farm & Ecology Center’s Resource Library, so it may also be used to see if Calypso has a particular book. To use the catalog, go to the JTEL’s catalog page, or visit LibraryThing directly.
For now, we are requesting that our members hold off on donating books, as we still do not have enough space for them all, even with the Clausen Cabin. We are moving books from storage onto the shelves as fast as we can, and will soon know if there is room for more donations. Our new building will be able to accommodate many more books, but until that library is constructed, we just don’t have the space. Thank you for your patience!
Open-pollinated and heirloom seeds may be donated to the seed library at any time.