A petition posted to a Facebook group belonging to the far-right anti-LGBTQ hate organization Alaska Parents’ Rights in Education seeks the relocation of an LGBTQ themed book in the Anchorage Public Library.

Once again in the crosshairs of right-wing activists is the children’s book Jack (Not Jackie) (2018) a book whose name should sound familiar to those who have been following the story of the Bronson administration’s behind the scenes efforts to purge the public library of LGBTQ themed material.

The book was published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBT inclusivity and acceptance, and addresses topics such as gender identity and gender expression and encourages children to wholeheartedly accept people for who they are.

A petition on Change.org claims books at the Anchorage Public Library are “filled to the brim” with descriptive pornographic scenes.

In January, The Blue Alaskan detailed Anchorage Public Library Deputy Director Judy Eledge’s removal of the book from library circulation so she could personally review it ahead of a Library Advisory Board meeting. Eledge is a staunch anti-LGBTQ demagogue whose grotesque, hateful social media posts drew outrage from parents during her failed run for the Anchorage School Board last year. Eledge’s posts also drew the attention of Alaska’s News Source who interviewed Eledge about them. Eledge was dismissive and combative during her interview and claimed rather incredibly that some of her social media posts had been altered to make her look bad.

Eledge, Mayor Bronson’s one-time unqualified pick to run the Anchorage Public Library (APL), resigned from her role as director to avoid Assembly confirmation. She now works as APL’s deputy director where some employees say she has created a toxic work environment and run off two longtime qualified and dedicated library staff members.

Right-wing activists have sought the removal and censorship of Jack (Not Jackie) from the public library for months.

On January 3, the Alaska GOP propaganda website, Must Read Alaska, published photographs of Jack (Not Jackie) on display at the Loussac Library in a blog post titled “Gender confusion literature: Read-aloud book at Anchorage library tells kids how girls can be boys.”

Also on January 3, transphobic Eagle River Assembly member Jamie Allard shared photographs of (Jack Not Jackie) with the far-right, pro-Bronson Save Anchorage Facebook group, whose members have hurled homophobic slurs at sitting Anchorage Assembly members and former Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. Allard was attempting to generate outrage over the book on display at the library and asked her fellow group members to email their thoughts to Mayor Bronson and Judy Eledge.

Two days later, on January 5, the far-right, Mat-Su-based Alaska Watchman, a regular purveyor of misinformation, published a blog post titled “Ridding Anchorage Library of Transgender Child Propaganda Takes a Joint Effort,” which tells the sad tale of a heterosexual mother offended that Jack (Not Jackie) had been displayed at the Anchorage Public Library. 

The book’s name also appeared in a list published in the Alaska Parents’ Rights in Education Facebook group in September. Both Eledge and former Bronson chief of staff Sami Graham were tagged in the post, assumably bringing the alleged naughty list of LGBTQ books to their attention.

On April 4, the American Library Association said there were over 700 challenges to library materials in 2021, the most the organization has seen since it began compiling data 20 years ago, most of which targeted Black or LGBTQ authors or subjects.

It’s not clear why right-wing activists are attempting to dictate what reading material is suitable for other families and/or individuals. It seems to me they should mind their own business and make decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their own families.