Home Black History Month

Kelvin Watson – Black History Honoree

Kelvin Watson, Executive Director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District has brought innovative, award-winning leadership to Nevada’s largest library system, and his deep experience in fundraising, technology, program development, and demonstrated success in addressing the digital divide has brought a new era to this library system.

MJ Maynard – CEO Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada  (00:02) In 2021, the tsunami of energy, creativity and innovation blew into Las Vegas. And that scenario was Kelvin, Kelvin reached out to the RTC, had this really great idea to expand library resources to our transit riders, and it has been a wonderful partnership ever since.

Kelvin Watson – Executive Director Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (00:21)  I came here from South Florida, I was the director for the Broward County Libraries in the Fort Lauderdale area. I’ve been in libraries for over 25 years.

Tamar Hoapili -Community Relations Manager (00:32) Under his leadership, he oversees 25 branches, as well as more than 600 employees here in southern Nevada.

KW (00:40) So I got into this field by accident. I was in the Army serving as an Army officer, and I transitioned to a book distribution company. And one of the areas that they focused on was libraries, and I guess I’ve been in libraries ever since.

MM (00:56) Kelvin is tenacious and I think you need that if you are going to come to your organization, move to a new community and implement a big, bold, innovative idea. You have to make sure that your team is supportive and it’s the tenacity that you need in order to make sure that it gets put into action, and he is tenacious.

KW (1:16) Live your dream, whatever that dream is. And even though it’s not a straight path, sometimes I didn’t get here, you know, in a straight path, but I’m leading an organization. I’m having an impact on the community. And these are all things that I thought I wanted to do when I was young, and so I’m having the opportunity to do it.

TH (1:38) He has dedication, and that’s what I love about him. He lives and breathes the library. He lives and breathes the programs and the services and what we can do as a library to benefit our community, to benefit our readers, to really increase the level of education here in southern Nevada for our students and for our patrons that come here to the libraries.

KW (2:00) The community inspires me to get involved because the library district, the library system is the community. We’re one in the same. And so what better way for the community to connect with me than for me to be in the community, which then provides me the ideas and inspiration to develop programs and services to support the community.

TH (2:29) It’s just wonderful to see that it’s a breath of fresh air, and he just wants to do so much for our library and for our community.

MM (2:37) Kelvin is a visionary. Kelvin is a community leader and we are so glad that Kelvin and his family call Southern Nevada home.

KW (2:44) I’m enjoying Southern Nevada. I’m enjoying Las Vegas. The events, the people, the community, their support of the library. It just makes my job much easier.