I have spectacular news for everyone: Chess in the Library now has nine operating locations in Toronto!
You may wonder, “What’s so special about the number ‘9’?” Well, for starters, we can now officially claim to outnumber both Walmart and The Bay, more than double the number of Tommy Hilfigers and Aeropostales, and TRIPLE the number of Gino’s Pizzas.
The point is, CITL is rapidly expanding. And while the expansion seems like a great thing, it does come with a few consequences. One of these, as I’ve realized, is our lack of “quality control” to go with it, which, unfortunately, even Gino’s Pizza has a department for.
Recently, in an effort to check up on the programs at each library, I visited Fairview. Expecting to see a small quiet group of kids playing chess as I’ve seen in other branches, I have to admit I was a little shocked by what I saw. When I walked into the program room, I found the kids screaming and chasing each other around the room; the volunteers, clearly short in number, were screaming “SHUT UP” at the top of their lungs; and the parents, who really shouldn’t even be in the already overpopulated room at all, were walking around and helping their kids win, making the volunteers’ jobs even more difficult.
When I finally walked through all the chaos (trust me when I say it wasn’t easy), I went to introduce myself to the volunteers. To my surprise, I was greeted by a “Who the hell are you?”
Well, after I awkwardly introduced myself to them, it turned out that the volunteers weren’t that bad after all. I suppose they were just a bit cranky from being amidst that boisterousness too long. I mean, who wouldn’t be?
Anyways, despite the mishaps, I’m glad that I made the visit. After discussing the situation at our executive meeting last week, we were able to provide them with five more chess sets and two new volunteers. Of course, we’ve also added a few new items to our agenda for the October volunteer training session. (Hehe)
From this experience, I’ve learned that although CITL is not yet perfect, what’s important is that we are improving and plugging the holes. And from what I see, we definitely are.
Treasurer and Secretary, CITL