Mayor Bronson names new Anchorage library director
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After operating for close to six months without one, the Anchorage Public Library has a new director, according to Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration.
Bronson’s office announced in a press release Monday that Robert Hudson has been named the new library director. The announcement comes almost six months after Judy Norton Eledge, the last person Bronson tapped to lead the municipality’s library, resigned from her role before she could be confirmed by the Anchorage Assembly.
At the time, the mayor’s office said Eledge “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.” Since that time, Eledge has served as deputy director of the library, and according to the press release she will continue on in that role.
Bronson had selected Eledge, a retired educator, to run the Anchorage Public Library after the assembly rejected his first pick, Sami Graham. Immediately after the assembly voted against her confirmation, Bronson made Graham his chief of staff. She resigned from the mayor’s administration in January.
Both Graham and Eledge were unsuccessful candidates for seats on the Anchorage School Board.
According to the city’s press release, Hudson has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada. That’s something Graham lacked as a library director appointee and was a major source of opposition among some assembly members who said she did not meet the minimum requirements for the job, which included a library science degree.
Hudson, according to the mayor’s office, has 18 years of experience working in libraries, law and teaching. He’s served as a director, a head librarian, a lecturer, a lawyer and an adjunct professor. Hudson has worked in academic, law and medical libraries in Canada, the U.S. and Qatar, the release states.
“Robert is more than qualified to lead the Municipality of Anchorage’s libraries,” Bronson said in the press release. “I look forward to him working with my administration, the Anchorage Assembly, and the people of Anchorage to move our libraries into the future.”
Hudson will still need to be confirmed by a vote of the assembly. It was not immediately clear how soon that confirmation hearing will take place.
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