Judy Norton Eledge resigns as Anchorage’s library director

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 2:39 PM AKDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2021 at 3:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s second pick for Anchorage’s library director, Judy Norton Eledge, has resigned, the city administration confirmed Friday.

Bronson tapped Eledge, a retired educator and unsuccessful candidate for the Anchorage School Board, to be the city’s library director back in August after the Anchorage Assembly failed to confirm his first choice, Sami Graham. Bronson then made Graham his chief of staff.

Eledge still needed to be confirmed as an executive mayoral appointee by the assembly.

“She didn’t want herself and her family going through what has been an unfair disparaging by the Anchorage Assembly of the mayor’s nominees including the last nominee for the Director of the Library,” wrote Corey Allen Young, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, in an email. “The mayor appreciates the work she has done and has asked her to stay on as a deputy director.”

Young added that a search will begin to find a new library director.

Eledge taught in Alaska for more than 40 years before retiring in 2003, and was more recently selected to develop the Alaska Reading Course program. She ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Anchorage School Board in the most recent municipal election, losing to Kelly Lessens after a recount.

While running for the school board, Eledge presented herself as a conservative voice in the race. Ahead of the election, she came under scrutiny for several social media posts that appeared to come from her. The posts criticized Muslims, Alaska Native people and people of color, and also flouted COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Eledge told Alaska’s News Source at the time that she had made some of the social media posts, but insisted that others had been altered.

Graham, Bronson’s first pick to be library director, was not confirmed by the assembly back in August. She had come under scrutiny with some assembly members saying her experience did not meet the minimum qualifications for the library director position, which include a degree in library science. Graham has two master’s degrees, but neither are in library science.

Bronson made Graham his chief of staff directly following the assembly’s vote on her confirmation.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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