The Anchorage Assembly will hold an Aug. 24 confirmation hearing of Mayor Dave Bronson’s nominee to lead the Anchorage Library system. Bronson tapped Sami Graham, an Alaskan-born, life-long educator with an extensive background in promoting arts and culture.

She is currently serving as library director, but the Assembly must approve the appointment in order for her position to become permanent. The Aug. 24 Assembly meeting is an opportunity for the public to weigh in on Graham’s appointment.

If confirmed, Graham would succeed former Library Director Mary Jo Torgeson, a controversial figure who oversaw the implementation of Drag Queen Story Hour for children, the launch of critical race theory book clubs and the promotion of LGBTQ books and political activism in the library.

Graham has served as an educator and principle in both public and religious schools. Most recently, from 2015 to 2019, she worked as the elementary principal of Grace Christian School in Anchorage.

Previously she served as an Anchorage School District principle for Trailside Elementary and worked as a teacher for more than 20 years. She holds two master’s degrees, one in educational leadership and another in counseling. Additionally, she has a bachelor’s degree in music education and an elementary education certificate from the State of Alaska.

Graham has an extensive history of actively promoting and participating in theater, classical music and cultural events. She has performed with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, is a former Alaska Light Opera member, volunteer for the Solo-Ensemble festival and a founding member of the Anchorage Nordic Ski Club.

According to her resume, she has been married 37 years, has three grown children, and is a retired hockey mom. She has served her church as an elder, deacon, VBS leader and missionary. She enjoys gardening, reading, the arts and Alaska’s outdoors.


  • Click here for information on how to participate in the Aug. 24 Assembly meeting where Graham’s confirmation vote is scheduled to take place. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Public can weigh in on Bronson’s choice to lead Anchorage’s libraries

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.