Friday, February 17, 2012

Interview with Tina Fang - Founder of CITL in London

In my last post, I mentioned that I will be interviewing Tina with regards to her CITL program in London. So, are you ready for it? Now before we get started, allow me to introduce you to Tina:

Do you guys think that she looks like me? :)

So I asked Tina five very basic questions and I think that she answered all of them really well! It's always been other people interviewing me on such questions but never me interviewing others! This time, as the Founder of CITL, I get to hear this story from a different perspective, a different context, a different person. :)

1. Why did you decide to start up a Chess in the Library chapter in London?
Chess is fun and there are lots of kids interested in this game. However, the chess community in London was not very vibrant and there wasn't an organized place where kids can play each other for fun. When I heard about the Chess in the Library program, I thought that library is a great place for kids to play and the program would help promote chess in London, which is something that I've always wanted to do. 

2. What was the greatest obstacle that you had to overcome in the process? How did you accomplish it?
Fortunately, I did not come across many obstacles to start the program. The librarians were very supportive and were happy to have this program in their library. 

3. What do you find most rewarding about this experience?
After every session of CITL, I leave the library feeling very happy and proud of this program and the kids. The smiles on the kids' faces just light up mine. :)

4. You created a facebook group for the program in London. Tell me a bit more about its purpose.
My volunteer team are mostly my friends in high school and Facebook is a good way for us to communicate outside of school and the library. Having a Facebook group makes us feel that we are part of this team, and it is a place that allows members can share their ideas about CITL.

5. Do you plan on expanding the CITL program to other branches of the London Public Library?
Absolutely. For some of the kids and volunteers, the Masonville Library may not be their most convenient location. In addition, by expanding this program into other branches, the game of chess can be spread to an even greater area. In fact, a parent of a participant of CITL really liked the idea of CITL and enthusiastically offered to start this program at the Byron branch. It is now officially our second location in London!

Did you hear that? Tina has already influenced a second library in London to host the program! After reading her responses from this interview, I truly think that I should conduct a lot more similar interviews with different volunteers! Details on the new London location will be posted soon!

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