March 17, 2018

Jamie Watson | Movers & Shakers 2008

Spark Plug

Her Harford County Public Library colleagues agree that assistant materials manager Jamie Watson oozes energy; director Audra Caplan says she “generates excitement on any project.”

Watson focuses that energy on reluctant teen readers. Nationally known for her leadership in YALSA, particularly on its Quick Picks Committee, she also works with Maryland library groups to identify teens’ favorite books and moderates book discussions for teens 14 and up ( Her blog, The Mashup: A Blog About Books for Teens, is part of her contribution to public television station WETA’s “All About Adolescent Literacy” web site (

Watson knows from experience that you can make readers out of bored kids who hang out at the library. Treat teens as individuals and find something specific to each one, she says, and they’ll demand another “just like that.” Since Watson enthusiastically shares teens’ tastes, “they also recommend things to me, and I take them seriously.”

That respect for teens, paired with her passionate energy, does the trick.


CURRENT POSITION Assistant Materials Manager, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD

DEGREE MLS, Kent State University, 1996

GOOD DEED Reviews forSchool Library Journal

GETTING HER KICKS Fan of British soccer