Anchorage

For the fourth time, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson appoints a library director

Z.J. Loussac Public Library

After a series of other appointments to the position that didn’t work out, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Thursday announced he has named Virginia McClure to be the city’s library director.

McClure is set to begin on Oct. 17, and would need to be confirmed by the Anchorage Assembly. She previously worked for the city’s public libraries as the manager of the Mountain View branch and as the assistant director for public services, a role she left in 2019. She also worked at public libraries in Lexington, Kentucky, according to a written statement from the mayor’s office. McClure has been working as a contract consultant for Anchorage Public Libraries since July, according to a spokesman for the mayor. McClure is also married to former Alaska Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

According to the mayor’s office, McClure has a master’s in library and information science from Drexel University iSchool in Philadelphia, and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Midway College in Midway, Kentucky. She is also pursuing a MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama, the mayor’s office said.

In a written statement, Bronson said he is “thrilled that Virginia has decided to come back to work for the Anchorage Public Library” and that she “has the experience, compassion, and commitment to lead our wonderful libraries into the future.”

Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant said in a text he has not seen McClure’s resume, but is “heartened we have a nomination of someone who has a master’s in library sciences” and looks forward to the hearing.

McClure’s nomination is Bronson’s fourth attempt to appoint a library director for Anchorage. His first, Sami Graham, was not confirmed by the Anchorage Assembly due to her lack of a degree in library science (Bronson immediately named Graham his chief of staff, a role she left in January.) His second, Judy Eledge, resigned when it became clear the Assembly would not confirm her, either, although she has stayed in the role as deputy director at the library. Bronson named his third library director appointment, Robert Hudson, in April, but Hudson decided not to take the job in August.

An outspoken conservative activist, Eledge’s tenure at the library has been controversial — there have been a high number of employee complaints, concerns about an exodus of employees, and accusations from current and former staff that she fosters a hostile work environment.

According to the mayor’s office, Eledge will stay on at the library as deputy director.

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