Friday, February 23, 2024

Kelvin Watson Named American Library Association Medal of Excellence Award Winner! 

June 11, 2023 by  
Filed under Highlights

Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, has been awarded the American Library Association (ALA) Medal of Excellence Award. This annual award, presented by the ALA and sponsored by OCLC, recognizes creative leadership in library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship. 

“The jury for the 2023 Medal of Excellence award is delighted to honor Kelvin Watson for his many accomplishments during a long, pioneering, and accomplished career as a leader in public management,” according to a statement from the ALA. 

Among the achievements specifically noted by the Medal of Excellence jury, and the many colleagues and admirers who wrote in support of this award, are Watson’s outstanding service to the communities he has served, and his development of partnerships at many levels. 

Watson was described by various nominators as “visionary,” “engaged and connected,” “a true champion in our community and in each life that his work touches;” and as “someone who has the unique ability to guide a group of individuals toward achieving a common goal.” 

The jury was especially impressed by the number of commendations received from colleagues outside the library industry. One partner noted that, “Kelvin demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the community … and has made a tremendous impact in the lives of some of our most underserved populations.” Another wrote, “Kelvin is engaged, accessible, and supportive” as he “drives the advancement of library innovation.” This commitment to serving all people, in ways that meet the unique needs and circumstances, demonstrates in an exemplary way his “achievement for recent creative leadership of high order” that the Medal of Excellence is designed to honor, according to the ALA. 

“I am extremely honored to accept the Medal of Honor from the ALA, and humbled by the words of our community who nominated me,” said Watson, who joined the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District in 2021. “Libraries are purveyors of free speech in society and it is our privilege, in this role, to teach information literacy to all ages.” 

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