218: ALA Presidential Candidates (2022)

Steve chats with the 2022 candidates for President of the American Library Association: Emily Drabinski, Critical Pedagogy Librarian and Interim Chief Librarian at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

Read the transcript!

Emily Drabinski is Critical Pedagogy Librarian and Interim Chief Librarian at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She has been an academic librarian for two decades, publishing and presenting widely on the politics of knowledge organization and the importance of organized labor in the library workplace.

Kelvin Watson is the executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, oversees 25 branches spanning 8,000 square miles, a budget of $77 million, 700 employees, and a collection of 3.2 million items. The Library District is a vibrant and vital member of the community offering limitless learning; business and career advancement; and government and social services support.

Mr. Watson joined the Library District from his role as the director of the Broward County Libraries Division, where he managed 700+ full-time employees and a budget of more than $70 million. The Broward County library system serves 1.9 million people through 38 locations in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida region.

Regarded as one of the most highly respected thought leaders in the library industry, he is credited with expanding his customer base in past library management roles, through outreach efforts to underserved and diverse populations. His deep experience in fundraising, technology, program development, plus his demonstrated success in addressing the digital divide, will help the Library District to further expand its role as a free educational resource for all residents. A current example of this is a partnership with the Regional Transit Commission of Southern Nevada to provide a library app to bus riders using on-board WiFi. This program introduces the library to thousands of potential new customers who may have had no previous library interaction.

Emily Drabinski campaign site
Kelvin Watson campaign site
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