The John Trigg Ester Library

Welcome to the John Trigg Ester Library, a community membership library in Ester, Alaska. Since its founding back in 1999, the library has grown from a collection of Dumpster-dived books and a donated couch into a two-location facility with a children’s library and plans for a soon-to-be super-efficient, passive solar building that burns no fossil fuels (the design is complete but we are still fundraising!)

Services and events

  • Internet: community members are welcome to use the JTEL’s internet connection. Contact info at for login info and for access to the Clausen Cabin.
  • Books, audiobooks, and movies: community members are free to use library items on the premises, but to check out items, you must become a member of the library. Forms are available in the JTEL along with informational brochures; membership is $10 per person.
  • Seed library and GEB program: seed exchanges and an agrobiodiversity program are another feature of our library. We hold events in the spring and fall.
  • Lecture series: the library holds a fall and spring lecture series on various topics.
  • Community events: the library holds several fun community events that double as library fundraisers.

Pick.Click.Give. is underway!

You can help the library with a donation from your Permanent Fund Dividend—this year we are focusing our fundraising efforts on new construction as part of our Capital Campaign. We began the tree-clearing last year and are starting sitework this summer, so every little bit helps! And remember—the Double Your Dividend sweepstakes is in effect again this year!

Write a letter of support:

This will be a difficult year for the legislature, and they will have to make hard choices among many worthy projects. We are seeking public and private funding (from multiple sources) and will need your help in persuading the legislature that our project should receive funds in this fiscal climate. The JTEL can provide a strong example of thrifty, far-seeing northern-appropriate public construction of the kind that should be supported by the legislature and business. Please contact us for information and to cc us with your letter to your legislator.

Upcoming Events:

  • Seedstock — early February or March
  • Seedy Saturdays — February and March
  • — early May
  • Tape & Tarp Ball (2014 — page update coming soon) — mid May

Annual Community Events

The library is an active participant in the Ester community, from Clean-Up Day to Winter Solstice, and hosts its own events, including Seedstock, the Tape & Tarp Ball, the LiBerry Music FestivalReaders on the Run, the Annual Membership Meeting, and more. Come join the fun and catch the bookworms at the library!

Thank You!

Our first Pick.Click.Give. campaign was very successful, with 23 donors pledging $1,400 for the library. We thank each and every one of you: you are helping to keep the library running! Our 2014 campaign introduced potential donors to the library, describing our programs, our facilities and planned construction, and how we came to be. The donations earned went to the general fund, applied to operations and programs.

Comments Needed!

Broadband internet service is one thing the JTEL can provide to residents of the Ester area. A statewide Broadband Task Force has been working on a plan to increase availability of broadband service to 100 Mbps all Alaskans by 2020, and is requesting comments. Read more in the report here (pdf).

Mission Statement:

The John Trigg Ester Library is a home-grown community library that provides a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment where local residents can meet and share ideas and information. The library strives to instill a love of reading and learning, to showcase Ester-area history and culture, and to provide resources that enrich the whole community.