DATE: January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Ric Barrick, Assistant Director
Office of Public Communications
BROWARD COUNTY, FL - Kelvin Watson has been named the new Broward County Libraries Director, effective February 26, 2017. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President for Queens Library in New York City. The Queens Library serves 2.3 million people from 62 locations plus seven Adult Learning Centers and two Family Literacy Centers. It circulates among the highest numbers of books and other library materials in the country.
Kelvin is credited with innovative community outreach to establishments who have not been active patrons of the library system, such as community centers, hospitals and jails. His background in addressing the digital divide has helped patrons understand how to use technology and realize how impactful these tools can be in their lives. As the new Libraries Director, his successes in establishing community partnership will be a key factor in building on the current partnerships that exist in Broward County.
Kelvin has played a critical role in expanding the digital platforms offered by library systems he has worked with to broaden patron access to e-content. In Queens, he spearheaded a new initiative to offer 24/7 seamless access to digital materials, including single login access to create less barriers to obtaining information, an integrated media search feature, and access to numerous articles, databases, and other content.
In addition to his position at Queens Library, Kelvin has previously held positions including the National Agricultural Library, The Library Corporation, Ingram Library Services, Borders Group, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is also the past president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Kelvin has also served as a Commissioned Officer in the Active US Army and Army Reserves.
"We are excited to have someone with the depth of industry experience and successful community engagement as Kelvin brings to Broward County" said Bertha Henry, County Administrator. "I am confident that his experience in expanding digital and traditional service delivery will enhance our already robust offering of library, online, and mobile services. I know that his talents will positively impact our library's growing role as a cultural and civic enrichment center for all of our residents."
Kelvin received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Military Science from Lincoln University in Missouri. He also has his Masters of Library Science Degree from North Carolina Central University.
The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 39 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use, and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of Broward County's diverse community. Broward County Libraries Division continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to our comprehensive Web site, Broward.org/Library, which provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, customers can visit BCL WoW - Broward County Library Without Walls - for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps, movies and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter.