The Ester library has approximately 5,000 items on the shelves and another 5,000 in storage. The collection includes books, audiobooks (on CD or cassette), movies on VHS and DVD, jigsaw puzzles and a few board games.
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, which sent (unsolicited by the JTEL) ten Alaska military history titles to us this year. Some books, usually ones that will fill gaps in series already owned by the library, are purchased using an 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 or used for the Lallapalooza & Book Bash fundraiser or as door prizes for the annual meeting.
The JTEL has an online catalog with www.librarything.com that shows the books and other items in the collections. The catalog does not yet show whether an item has been checked out, merely whether the JTEL possesses the item in question. 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.