Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson accepted the resignation of Anchorage Public Library Deputy Director Judy Eledge.
Eledge is having knee replacement this month and said that this is a good time for her to take off and move into retirement.
Eledge has been planning to retire for many months, even before her surgery was scheduled.
She has been subject to vicious personal attacks by the Anchorage Daily News for remarks that a library employee surreptitiously recorded of her, and then gave the recordings to a the ADN’s most partisan writers.
The recordings are of Eledge saying:
“I worked in an Alaska Native village. If it wasn’t for the white man and his oil money, they’d still be raping their daughters in caves.”
“I don’t have the same views about Eskimos as other people at the library. I worked in Barrow; I know they diddle their kids. It’s a well-known secret, people just don’t talk about it. I knew a 2nd grader that had gonorrhea. They send their FAS [fetal alcohol syndrome] babies to Anchorage because they don’t want to take care of them.’”
“The atmosphere here has gone downhill with woke movements like Black Lives Matter … I’m telling you, the woke culture is killing libraries and this country. If I could get rid of those employees, I could turn this library around for the good.”
“There are too many ‘liberals’ working in libraries.”
Eledge was originally appointed as the director of the library, after it became clear that the institution needed stronger, more caring leadership. However, she was not able to be confirmed by the leftist Assembly, and so she moved back to a deputy position that was not subject to confirmation. Virginia McClure was hired as head librarian.
In recent months, the newspaper and the Assembly have worked together to attack Eledge for her conservative views and her determination to return the library system to a safe place for children and families. The Loussac Library had become a daycare center for homeless and drug-addicts, and there have been several violent incidences at the library that revealed it’s no longer a safe place to bring children. One woman was stabbed and sustained lifelong disability when she was trying to return library books.
But leftists have worked hard to get Eledge removed altogether, and started a petition, calling Eledge a racist and a bigot. The Assembly has a resolution requesting her resignation on its May 9 agenda.
Eledge, in her letter to Bronson, said:
“One of your top priorities was to return the AK Collection to the rotunda of the library, where it had been prior to the 2017 flood. Our Director Virginia McClure recently received the Initial draft plans for the renovated Alaska room, and great progress has been made to begin the subsequent phases to return the AK Collection to its original location.
“As requested, a plan to begin the process of a new downtown library that had been stalled for many years is now back in progress. With the help of a newly formed downtown library committee and the Anchorage Library Foundation, the Old City Hall has been chosen for the downtown library per your request. We were also successful in obtaining additional funding from the AK Legislature, and a historical code analysis has been completed. We recently met with Maintenance and Operations to discuss the next steps.
“Significant efforts have been made to improve safety at the library. After a patron was stabbed in February 2022, we began to ensure our code of conduct was strictly enforced, with the help of concerned employees. A safety committee was formed and recommendations from this committee were instituted. One of the safety guidelines we implemented was the “one bag rule”. We implemented a ticket system that allowed individuals coming into the library with luggage, such as travelers or homeless individuals, to lock their items in a secure closet to be retrieved upon leaving the library. We had the opportunity to share this safety enhancement with Chair LaFrance shortly after changes were made.
“I am confident that the team at the library will continue to serve you and the city well. While we successfully achieved a lot during my time as Deputy Director, there is much more to accomplish within our library system. Moving forward, I believe that even more positive accomplishments can be achieved if politicizing these positions can be avoided. I wish your administration and the municipal library system all the best,” she concluded.
Mrs. Eledge’s last day will be May 15, 2023.