John Trigg Ester Library

The John Trigg Ester Library is a small nonprofit library, located in Ester in the U.S. state of Alaska. The library has approximately 6,000 volumes on its shelves with more than 15,000 in storage, and is constructing a new library building. The library design is for the farthest-north Passive house structure in North America. Phase 1, the thermal storage tank, is completed and the library is seeking funding to proceed on to Phase 2, the building shell.

Photograph of the John Trigg Ester Library Clausen Cabin
John Trigg Ester Library Clausen Cabin

The library is open to the public, and is supported by grants, fundraising, and memberships. Most members come from the Ester area; dues are by donation, with a $10 per year minimum. Members help guide the library in setting goals, elect a board at the annual membership meeting, and may run for membership on the board. The library is staffed by its seven-member volunteer board of directors and a small group of additional volunteers.

The library is housed in a historic log building known as the Ansgar & Ida Clausen Cabin, which has been renovated to make it more energy-efficient and to support the collections. The library has a cold-storage annex and storage outbuildings for donated books, furniture, and equipment. An associated gazebo and public composting outhouse, situated about a block away near the village post office, serves as an outdoor reading room and event area in connection with the library.

The Ester library is a member of the Alaska Library Association and uses LibraryThing for its online catalog.

Programs edit

The library has several programs at present, the longest-running being Growing Ester's Biodiversity (GEB), a seed sharing program dedicated to increasing local food security and agricultural sustainability. The GEB program's seed library is housed in the Clausen Cabin and adjacent gardens. The library also features local community programs such as a monthly book club, a children's/family activity program, a weekly knit and crochet gathering, and a weekly writing circle for adults.

Collections edit

The library has an Alaska nonfiction/reference section, with special attention to books published in Ester or by or about Ester residents. This includes the The Ester Republic a periodical. The library's Alaska nonfiction section also includes many Alaska Geographics.

The library also has several foreign language and Alaska Native language titles. These are not separated from the regular collections (primarily due to the lack of space) but are integrated into the main sections: Reference, Fiction, Nonfiction, Circumpolar nonfiction, Young readers, Young Adult, Literature, Metaphysics, philosophy, theology and spirituality, social sciences, language, science, applied science, and arts, music, and entertainment. A few DVD selections are available in both fiction & nondiction, as well as some books on CD. Cataloging of nonfiction follows the Dewey Decimal system. Languages include: Athabaskan, Yup'ik, Russian, French, German, Danish, Hungarian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The library also has an extensive collection (for its size) of non-English dictionaries, grammars, and language self-study books.

Collection development plans include expansion of the holdings available on the shelves, for which additional space is needed.

The Ester library has developed its collection almost exclusively from donated and found books, DVDs and games. As a result, the collection is eclectic, reflecting the reading habits of members of the community. The family of John Trigg has been a significant donor both in books and funds. Much of the library's collection of science, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery titles were originally from Trigg's private library or donated by his family. Other major collections include books from Sue Ann Bowling, the Helfferich family, Robert Barr, Richard Heacox, the Guinn family, Four Winds Counseling, and the estates of David Stannis and Raymond Hadley, among others.

Book Shelf Project edit

In a fashion similar to the Noel Wien Public Library's Book Tile Project, the Ester library raises money by dedications with engraved plaques, to be affixed on bookshelves in the new building ($50 per plaque, one plaque per shelf).

History edit

Deirdre Helfferich is one of the key figures in the founding of the John Trigg Ester Library.

The Ester library was founded in the summer of 1999. It was held by the Ester Community Association between 2004 and 2009. The library received separate nonprofit recognition from the State of Alaska in November 2009 [1] and received federal charitable nonprofit status (IRS 501(c)(3) recognition) in 2011, retroactive to November 19, 2009.

References edit

External links edit

64°50′45″N 148°01′06″W / 64.84586°N 148.01843°W / 64.84586; -148.01843