About Kelvin Watson
Kelvin Watson is the Director of the Broward County Public Library system and Immediate Past President of the Black Caucus of ALA. 38 branches make up Broward County Libraries, circulating over 10.5 million items annually, with over 1 million library card holders. Prior to Broward County, he was COO, Senior VP for the Queens Library. His responsibilities included HR, Capital/Facilities Management, Risk Management, Logistics, Security, Technical Services, and leading the development and implementation of system-wide library technology development (IT), and content.
Kelvin was named the 2016 inaugural winner of ALA’s Ernest A. DiMattia Award for Innovation and Service to Community and Profession, which recognized him as a public librarian who demonstrates leadership in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community. Mr. Watson was the winner of this year's Demco/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship. The award recognizes significant accomplishments that promote the status of African American librarians in the profession, or the development and implementation of resources and services for the African American community. Watson was presented with the award at the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association's biannual conference in Atlanta, GA.
Prior to coming to Queens, he served as the Branch Head, Acquisitions & Collection Development at the National Agricultural Library (NAL), directing the formulation of current and long-range national resource collection policies, plans and programs, and coordinated those efforts within the organizational units of NAL and other Government agencies, land-grant institutions and related organizations. Prior to the NAL he was the Director of Business Development for The Library Corporation, a library automation company, and was the product owner for the Online Selection Assistant. Prior to TLC, he held several leadership roles in sales & marketing with Borders Group, Inc., Ingram Book Group/Ingram Library Services, leadership roles in sales, marketing, collection development, warehouse management (logistics) and library technical services. Kelvin has also served as a Commissioned Officer in the Active US Army and Army Reserves. Kelvin has a BS in Business Administration & Minor in Military Science from Lincoln University (MO). He also has his Masters Library Science from North Carolina Central University.
Mr. Watson will discuss wide-ranging innovations that were used in transforming the Queens Library (NY), and learn about their efforts to radically transform and improve the way library patrons discover and access eResources through a Virtual Library System. This system will provide a best-of-breed solution for all their users, keeping the library’s doors open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and shifting the balance of power from providers to libraries and the customers we serve. Libraries invest in and license a rich array of eResources for their customers, and are forced to rely on a complex set of proprietary interfaces to navigate and deliver them. Only the savviest users can keep track of many separate usernames, passwords, and website URLs. Even when this barrier is crossed, accessing the eResource (or finding out what is available) requires the user to follow links out of the library’s and into the provider’s system. These systems are often walled gardens, where the eResource provider, not the library, controls the user’s experience, which can lead to frustration and failure. Learn about how the Virtual Library System allows users seamless access to digital materials, all within Queens Library’s own web and mobile interfaces, extending beyond the confines of any physical location and into people’s homes with the tools and devices that allow deeper interaction with the library’s offerings.