The John Trigg Ester Library is a home-grown community library that provides a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment where community members 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 will enrich the whole community.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
The Ester library is a small community-supported membership library open to the public. Unlike public libraries, we receive no support from government taxes, and instead depend primarily on individual support for our programs and operations. The membership model is rare, but we knew that it was very unlikely our small community would ever get a local public library—so we didn't wait. We started our own, and it has been low-cost, low-maintenance, and all-volunteer from its beginning in 1999. Our programs include a lecture series and a seed library.
We soon realized that we needed a permanent home (people kept donating books!). A library of our own to match our town's needs and ideals generated lots of excitement, so in 2005 we started fundraising and soon found property in the heart of the village.
Next came building design. We're a thrifty bunch, so we knew we needed to keep our operations cost as low as possible. After a thorough open design process and community discussion, we settled on a superinsulated library large enough to house all of our collections (including room to grow) and adequately serve the population in the Ester area. This innovative building will be the farthest north institutional Passive House in North America, and possibly the world. Pick.Click.Give. is a vital part of our annual fundraising, helping us work toward this dream.
In 2013 support came in the form of the donation of a nearby cabin with historic gardens in the heart of Ester. We are improving this cabin and its outbuildings, making ready a new office and expanded shelving space, bringing literature within walking, snowmachining, and bicycling distance to local families. We are also building an endowment with the Alaska Community Foundation, taking the long view on operations support.
To do this, however, we will continue to need your help. We have obtained several grants already and began groundwork this year, but matching funds in the form of individual donations will go a long way toward making this literary dream a reality. Thank you!