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Innovative Library Services Earn Former Director a National Library Honor

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Broward County Library former director Kelvin Watson was announced as the winner of the 2021 E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award, presented by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award was presented in recognition of Watson’s dedication in implementing new and innovative ways for Broward County Library to welcome non-traditional users to become lifelong library customers.

Under the leadership of Watson, Broward County Library launched a range of forward-thinking, award-winning initiatives that expanded access to free library resources. These include “Library Services on Air, Land and Sea,” a partnership between Broward County Transit and Parks divisions, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Seafarer’s House to provide instant access to the library’s digital collection; ArtLit, the Library’s annual signature cultural event; Creation Stations, the library’s free community makerspaces; and Project Welcome, a grant-funded initiative to guide newcomers/immigrants as they learn the English language and adjust to life in Broward County, making Broward County Library the first library in the United States to use Amazon Echo devices at service points to assist customers in their native languages and earning it ALA’s “2020 “Library of the Future” award.

 “This award is a testament not only to Mr. Watson’s leadership, but to the ongoing and outstanding efforts of Broward County Library’s staff and administration, who’ve worked tirelessly to advance literacy and expand library services throughout the community and beyond,” says Allison Grubbs, Broward County Library’s Interim Director.

Watson, who left Broward County in February 2021 to become executive director of Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, will be honored with a monetary prize and a citation.

About Broward County Libraries Division
Broward County Libraries Division, named 2020 and 2015 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association, was founded in 1974 and is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 7.5 million walk-in customers visiting its 38 locations annually. Broward County Libraries Division provides convenient access to a full range of innovative and cost-effective services that satisfy the changing needs of the people of Broward County for information, education and recreation. Visit our website,, or follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter.

DATE: March 29, 2021
Catherine McElrath
Libraries Division