Looking for a desk/table

Do you have a used, but working small desk that you no longer want? We are looking for a small desk/table for our new office. It should be about 3 feet long by about 2 feet wide (deep), preferably with a small drawer for incidentals.  Please contact us at 907-374-8080 if you do. We’ll pick it up if you don’t want to deliver!

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Clausen Cabin Update


The Clausen Cabin renovation has come a long way in just over a year of effort.

Work on the Clausen Cabin is moving forward to a point where JTEL is starting to plan for moving in shelving units and filling them with books. New vinyl plank flooring is down in the main area, new interior doors are installed, and trim work is now in process. The heavy wood cook stove was moved with the use of a pallet jack and now sits in the northwest corner. Portions of the original kitchen have been reinstalled and there is a “dry cabin” arrangement with a water jug and 5 gallon bucket under the sink.

Bear Electric completed their last remaining work items on February 15th. The cabin has been rewired to code, new track lights are installed over the stacks area, motion lights are located over both exterior doors, exit signs and emergency lighting have been installed, and there are now exterior outlets where there were none before.


New flooring is installed throughout the main area and trim work is now in progress. Conduits are being masked and primed for painting.


Special thanks to a great crew of volunteers who have been working the last two weeks to move to this point,  including: Mindy, Ginny and Parker Gallagher, Deirdre Helfferich, Mike Musick, Eli Sonafrank, and Gary Pohl. More volunteers will be needed when it actually becomes time to move in the shelving and books. Keep your eyes on this site for a call for volunteers and ultimately, an “open house” date.

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Seedy Saturdays Are Coming!

Seedy Saturday Web

Seed Swap Guidelines

No seeds? No problem, come learn more about seed saving, local gardening and more.

3 p.m. Garden lectures:

  • February 25 – Goosefoot farm – a family vegetable farm practicing ecologically sustainable methods
  • March 4 – Alaska’s Agricultural Experiment Station – seeds from the past, into the future

Learn more about the Growing Ester’s Biodiversity Program.


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Collections and inventory – January 2017

This month catalog additions were down, but not because we didn’t have a lot of inventory! Your amateur librarian ran out of card pockets, so the new donations couldn’t be added to the collections. The board ordered 500 new ones (and at a great price), but they were shipped media mail, unfortunately, so they took three weeks to get here. However, it turned out that a lot of the old inventory already had cards and card pockets, but hadn’t yet been entered into the database. (I knew there were a few left on the shelves, but it turns out that there were a lot more than I thought!)

January topics included geography and travel, a few cookbooks, history, carpentry and home repair, art instructional guides, biographies, German, one mystery (Destroyer Angel, by Nevada Barr), a dictionary and calligraphy guide for Japanese (both Kanji and Kana), and a Field Guide to Airplanes of North America. The total number of books entered this month was 47, bringing the number of items in the online catalog to 7,602.

BlackjackOne of the biographies is a new donation (thank you!) and will go in our Alaska nonfiction section. By Jennifer Niven, Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic, draws on never-before published original diaries and other materials. It tells the story of the ill-fated five-person expedition to explore Wrangell Island in 1921. Ada Blackjack, a young Inuit woman, signed on as the group’s seamstress. Of the four men sent by Viljhalmur Stefansson to undertake this expedition, only two had been in the Arctic before. They were provisioned with only six months’ worth of supplies, believing, as did Stefansson, that they could stretch these for a year while living off the land. None of the men survived, but Blackjack did, returning to civilization after two years, and refusing to speak of it—except once.

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Another great weekend at the Clausen!!

Underlayment for the remainder of the north side, laying laminate plank flooring for that same area, and varnishing the windows were this weekend’s accomplishments.  It looks great, and may even allow us to host this year’s Seedy Saturdays (February 25 and March 4) in a dust and construction-free zone!

Special thanks to Wayne Miller of Floorcraft for donating the carpet for the office, and the following board members and volunteers for donating their time and expertise to this weekend’s work: Mindy, Ginny and Parker Gallagher, Gary Pohl and Syrilyn Tong.

New flooring in the kitchen

New flooring in the kitchen

Parker Gallagher starting up the monitor stove on the new floor

Parker Gallagher starting up the monitor stove on the new floor

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Floor prep at the Clausen!

A HUGE amount of work was accomplished this weekend, starting with clearing and cleaning the main floor section, staining and varnishing the 2 interior doors (1 to the bathroom, and 1 to the office), hanging the kitchen cabinets and finally laying the underlayment in the kitchen section.  All of this was preparation for the final flooring to be installed, starting next weekend.

Special thanks to Mindy, Ginny and Parker Gallagher, and board members Gary Pohl, Marina Day, Eli Sonafrank, and Syrilyn Tong for all the labor this past weekend!

The kitchen area with underlayment in place

The kitchen area with cabinets reinstalled and the underlayment in place

clausen south

Looking south, towards the Fire Station. The main stacks area

Clausen north

Looking north, towards the Golden Eagle. The other half of the main stacks area

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The Library at Frank’s Place – Don’t forget to Give!!

Frank's place

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Collections and inventory – December 2016

This month 119 books were entered to the catalog, most of them having been on our shelves since 2003 and later. Many art and reference books, particularly woodworking and other crafts, were among them. The complete 24-volume Family Creative Workshop is now entered as well. We have watercolor, drawing, printmaking, collage, puppet making, and decoupage how-to instruction manuals written by a range of authors, including the inimitable Bob Ross. Several guidebooks, erotica, thrillers, and Alaskana have also been added to the collections. And we now have a copy of William Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, too. All told, 1,717 titles were added to the catalog this year, bringing the total up to 7,555 books, movies, and voice books listed. We are almost done cataloging the books actually in the library and can soon move on to the items in storage.

We have perhaps three times this many items in storage (not counting those reserved for sale or remaining on the shelves to be catalogued), at a rough guess, with more coming in every month. We intend to revise the Collections Development Policy soon so that new titles can be integrated smoothly into the collections—and so that we don’t get swamped by all the new books we don’t need!

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Don’t forget Pick.Click.Give!!

PFD applications are right around the corner, so please don’t forget to give to JTEL through the Pick.Click.Give program. Every dollar will go towards operating expenses for the current library/Clausen renovation. We hope to get the Clausen Cabin up and running this year through your generous donations!  Thanks, and Happy New Year!

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Clausen Cabin: Nearly Solstice Update

Solstice happens soon, daylight is short and the busy holidays are here. Yet, thanks to our wonderful volunteers and donors, extraordinary progress has been made on the rejuvenation of the Clausen Cabin. Starting in October, a series of six volunteer work sessions were held. Result: All exterior wall surfaces have been furred and provided with additional insulation (R-18 added to the existing), infiltration barriers and gypsum board; interior walls were blocked to receive future items (e.g. grab bars, cabinets) and covered with gypsum board. The Monitor heater was refurbished and relocated, and with the new insulation and infiltration barriers, has no problem keeping the cabin toasty warm even during the recent cold spell. The interior was now ready for taping/mudding, and priming/painting.

Painters & Allied Trade Local 1959, after being contacted by JTEL President Syrilyn Tong, volunteered to provide taping/painting labor and started on Saturday, December 10th. A week later, the walls have been painted and are now ready to receive electrical finish work, doors, trim and base, and wall supported items.

Bear Electric will be returning next week to complete the electrical work. In the next steps of the renovation, JTEL volunteers will be installing new floor underlayment, two new doors, salvaged cabinets, trim and flooring.

Clausen Cabin

Interior wall blocking going in.

Special gratitude to those who volunteered to make it possible:

Wall Insulation/Furring and Sheet Rock Go for It Crew: Deirdre Helfferich, Mindy Gallagher, Ginny Gallagher, Syrilyn Tong, Eli Sonafrank, Eric Glos, Mike Musick, Gary Pohl, and Greg Selid. This crew “rocked”.


The same wall newly painted.

Most Awesome Painters: Charlie Young, Josh Terry and Alonzo Torres from Local 1959 came in on their own time, during mostly two weekends, to do a stellar job, The walls are smooth surfaced and painted semi-gloss with a commercial grade 3-coat system. It looks marvelous and will provide a very durable wall surface. JTEL greatly appreciates this wonderful holiday gift.

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