Known as “The Book Doctor,” Mary Jo Kelly-Nix has dedicated her life to bringing books to life for other people. Her goal is to help every child she meets become a lifelong learner, and to teach them how to think, research, and be creative. She prepared for her endeavors by earning an EdD, a Master of Education, and a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University in 1980, 1973, and 1970, respectively. She then became a certified English teacher, social studies teacher, city materials media center director, and school librarian.
Now, Dr. Kelly-Nix is living out her dream as a librarian in the Dufrocq Elementary School Library and in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. She previously garnered experience as a librarian at Holy Family School, the principal at St. Isidore Middle School, a teacher in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, a writer and producer for The Video Company, an instructor of a conversation class at Louisiana State University, and a freelance writer, storyteller, and pre- and post-video producer. Additionally, she has developed instructional materials, sponsored yearbooks and literary magazines, and performed skits for people as “The Book Doctor.” One of the highlights of her career was when a little girl she had been working with hugged her and thanked her. The moment stuck with Dr. Kelly-Nix because the child had autism, and she found being able to bridge the gap between that child and her world to be phenomenal and moving. Dr. Kelly-Nix was also thrilled when a student gave her the “Book Doctor” moniker. She has used the designation ever since.
When Dr. Kelly-Nix isn’t working, she is very active in her community. She was a parliamentarian of the East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators until 1991, and remains a member of prominent organizations like the Louisiana Library Association, the International Literacy Association, the Louisiana Association for Educational Communications and Technology, the National Education Association, and The International Platform Association. In the past, she served as a member of the administration commission of the St. Aloysius Catholic Church, the non-public school commission of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the committee of the Louisiana Association of Educators. Additionally, she was the president and secretary of the Catholic Library Association, the vice president of the East Baton Rouge Parish Association of Educators, a teacher for the Association for Educational Communication & Technology (AECT), and a parliamentarian of the Louisiana Association of Educators.
In Dr. Kelly-Nix’s spare time, she enjoys reading, visiting public libraries, and volunteering to write book reviews for several magazines. She has also contributed numerous articles for professional journals and has presented on instructional design, technology, and library mavens.
Dr. Kelly-Nix attributes her success to the loving support of her parents, Theodore McKowen Senior and Patricia Faul Wilkes, and her husband, Karl Joseph Nix.