Friday, May 13, 2011

2011 CITL Volunteer of the Year Nominees

The Chess in the Library (CITL) organization would like to honour and recognize the best volunteers at our program for their continuous hard work throughout the past year. Without each and every volunteer, our organization would not have been as widely recognized as it is today. Thus, the executive team decided to create an Annual CITL Volunteer of the Year Award, which consists of 3 separate recognitions: Most Dedicated, Most Innovative and Best Instructor.

Only CITL locations that were open for more than 6 months and have non-staff members running the program were invited to participate in this event. All the librarians in charge of our participating locations were asked to nominate one non-executive volunteer who has contributed the most to the CITL program at their library during the past year.

We came down to a total of 7 nominees, of which one wishes to remain anonymous. Those to came to the CITL Party sometime ago got to vote for the 3 winners out of the 7 nominees. Results will be announced at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Annual CITL Festival on June 25, 2011 (more details on the festival will be posted soon~).

Below is the list of nominees along with a detailed "reason for nomination" written by library staff involved in the program.

Gal Gross
North York Central Library

"Gal's enthusiasm and dedication, have kept this club going here, especially after Elsa left. His approachability and friendliness make people in the club feel comfortable and this is one reason that I think people come every week. His knowledge and gentle approach encourages those that are beginners to think outside the box, challenge themselves and their opponents, but most of all to have fun."

- Tom Maragos, North York Central Library Society and Recreation Dept.

Jesse Feng
Brookbanks Library

"Brookbanks would like to nominate Jesse Feng for his exceptional dedication, punctuality, concern for the smooth running of the programme and clarity of communication with the branch. Jesse is even tempered and has grown in leadership together with CITL. We appreciate his organisational skills too and his willingness to be openminded to any changes that the branch needs to ask of him and the progrmmae!"

- Denise Drabkin, Brookbanks Branch Head

Mary Xu
Bridlewood Library

"Mary is a very responsible, patient, and hardworking volunteer. She came to Bridlewood since the beginning of the club and was never absent. She is very friendly with the kids and takes care of them in every aspect. Bridlewood is a very busy branch and we have a big group of kids participating in the program. Mary is doing an excellent job at Bridlewood and we are really proud of her."

- Leo Wong, Bridlewood Branch Head & Angela Wong, Bridlewood Senior Libary Assistant

Stefan Whittaker-Lee
Bloor/Gladstone Library

"Stefan has been wonderful at keeping the program running when our local teen volunteers have not always been reliable. It's nice to have someone responsible that you can depend upon!"

-Alice Moore, Bloor/Gladstone Children's Librarian & Raymond Lam, Bloor/Gladstone Librarian

Yolanda Zhang
Fairview Library

"Yolanda consistently attends the program and does her most to help the program succeed. She is very knowledgeable about chess. The kids in the program find her very approachable. She is always ready to help out participants who need her assistance. We are very lucky at Fairview to have her as a volunteer."

-Paula Costa-Kuswanto, Fairview Youth Services Librarian

Yuan Dai
Pleasant View

"Yuan was there almost every week except for exceptional circumstances when he couldn't make it, since the re-starting of the branch. He always pays attention to the children and often teaches children who are less able at playing."

-Karen Knott, Pleasant View Branch Head

And finally...we have a nominee who wishes to remain anoymous:

Anonymous Volunteer
Humberwood Library

"xxx is dedicated, committed and goes above and beyond the role required of a volunteer. He shares his passion and knowledge of the game by pioneering learning strategies for beginners such as the Whole Brain Chess method. He also coaches and donates resources which enable the program to grow immeasurably. His love of the game and dedication to the Chess in the Library program has resulted in increased numbers and enthusiastic players. Humberwood is thrilled to have him."

- Vivien Canning, Humberwood Branch Head & Eunice Rodrigues, Chess Coordinator

Congratulations to all the nominees! You all deserved it! However, if you were not nominated this year, it doesn't mean that you weren't a great volunteer. In fact, many librarians expressed to us how difficult it was to make this decision! On behalf of the executive team, I'd like to thank everyone for all their time and effort put into this program in the past year. Perhaps you haven't really thought about this before, but what you're doing for this really program changes the lives of many children out there. We all really appreciate what you're doing every week. We really do.

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