Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson named Robert Hudson as the city’s next library director. This is the third time since taking office that the conservative mayor has attempted to fill the library director post.
Bronson’s first two appointments were both rejected by the far-left Anchorage Assembly, forcing him to name a deputy director to manage the library over the past several months.
For years, the Anchorage library system has unapologetically promoted controversial far-left social issues. The previous Library Director Mary Jo Torgeson was a highly divisive figure who oversaw the implementation of radical leftist political activism in the library, including critical race theory community book clubs, LGBTQ political activism and even drag queen story hours for young toddlers. Bronson is attempting to take the library in a different direction.
His latest appointment is Robert Hudson, a longtime librarian who has spent 18 years in library work, teaching and law. Hudson has served as a director, head librarian, lecturer, adjunct instructor, professor and lawyer. He has worked in academic, medical, and law libraries in the United States, Canada, and Qatar, and has an extensive background in specialty library databases.
“Robert is more than qualified to lead the Municipality of Anchorage’s libraries,” Bronson said in a statement introducing his latest pick. “I look forward to him working with my administration, the Anchorage Assembly, and the people of Anchorage to move our libraries into the future.”
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Last year, the Anchorage Assembly rejected Bronson’s initial appointment to lead the city’s libraries. He then named Judy Norton Eledge to serve as the director. She, too, was rejected by the Assembly. In blocking Bronson’s first two choices, the Assembly debate centered almost exclusively on the fact that they did not possess a library science degree. It was clear, however, that partisan politics played a prominent role for many Assembly members.
Hudson’s degrees include a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and a Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law. In addition, he has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in history from CalPoly, Pomona and the University of California, Riverside, respectively. While working at Nova Southeastern University, he also completed an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Technology.
Deputy Library Director Judy Eledge will continue to serve in her current role.