After saying that she had read through “files of complaints” that had allegedly been lodged over books that have mostly sat on library shelves for years without incident, the unqualified deputy director of the Anchorage Public Library (APL) Judy Eledge bemoaned the lack of public participation in the library’s collections process, saying that parents should be permitted to toil with long standing practices of a system designed to be free from improper influence.
“That’s just my opinion,” said Eledge, who resigned from her role as director of the APL last year to avoid Assembly confirmation, ostensibly because she and the Bronson Administration were at least partly concerned about her social media history.
In a clip taken from December’s meeting of the Library Advisory Board where a presentation was given in the hope of segregating LGBT themed books that had been compared to sexy and steamy romance novels and which prompted the resignation of a member of the Youth Advisory Commission, Eledge said that having three qualified librarians look at complaints filed with the library was “unfair.”
Eledge, who APL employees say has been wreaking havoc in the library, opined at the LAB meeting that parents should be brought in to help qualified librarians (who have gone to college and obtained their Master of Library Science degrees) because those individuals tasked with overseeing the library’s collection “tend to think alike.” Eledge’s comments appear to indicate that she is unwilling to trust librarians and the library’s processes.
“I’m going to tell you there’s going to be some people on staff that aren’t going to be open minded to listen — know that for a fact,” Eledge said, as she attempted to convey to LAB’s members that she was on board with Teen Advisory Board Member Denali Tshibaka’s proposed solution of segregating LGBTQ books she deemed inappropriate for certain sections of the library — books that have been properly categorized in line with categorization standards.
What the unqualified deputy director of the APL likely fails to understand is that the public already has the ability to provide input on the library’s collection process through APL’s website where they can recommend titles for the library to purchase. The public also has input through the request for reconsideration process and the library’s circulation numbers indicate whether the library’s collection process, which is based on a selection criteria, is on the right track.
What Eledge likely wants is to further impede, disrupt and upend a library process she doesn’t understand by bringing in biased and unqualified right-wing parents who want to cleanse the public library of books that offend their white cis sensibilities. It’s a majority rules mentality that has no place in the public library system.
Oh, and there’s audio. There always is.