Simon Watts, Youth Services and MakerLab Specialist at Fredericksburg Branch, has received the 2020 George Mason Award.
Watts started working at CRRL, first in Customer Services, in 2009. As MakerLab Specialist, he developed programs to make a range of technology and science learning accessible to customers, including an innovative badging program which empowers customers to learn to use equipment without staff supervision. Watts participated in the development of the Fredericksburg Canal Quarter Maker District, and IdeaSpace at 1616 Princess Anne Street, a CRRL media + maker space and anchor project. While the opening of IdeaSpace has been delayed and CRRL branches and MakerLabs are closed due to the pandemic, Watts has shifted his focus to making personal protective equipment for local medical and law enforcement personnel. CRRL has distributed over 2,000 pieces of PPE in 2020.