Decoda Librarian Nominated for Literacy Award

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Please join us in congratulating our librarian extraordinaire and Read All About Lit blogger, Tina Chau, for her nomination for a Champion for Literacy Award! She has been nominated as one of Castlegar’s literacy all-stars for her support of community literacy programs by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL)Awards will be presented to winners in Castlegar next week.

Tina has worked in Decoda’s library, as well as that of its predecessors, since completing a practicum at the Provincial Resource Centre in 2007. Decoda’s full-service library in our office in Downtown Vancouver is available through mail to all British Columbians. 

Tina originally worked in a completely different field – in home economics. In 2004, she decided that she was ready for a new challenge in life.  Her interest in library sciences was spurred by a course she enrolled in when she decided to return to school.

“I took one course in library and information technology and was hooked!” she says.

Always willing to help by email, phone and in person, Tina prides herself on the assistance she is able to give to a wide variety of patrons from across the province in both urban and rural areas.

“Since literacy is life, we have resources that include not only literacy in a work context, but literacy at home and in the community,” Tina notes.

She incorporates her unique sense of humour and natural resourcefulness to fulfill requests and answer interesting questions through the library’s “Ask Us” service like “can comic books help with literacy?” (They can!).

Recently, a literacy practitioner contacted her by phone, looking for fiction titles for her learner. “I’d like a little romance,” the practitioner said.  Tina quickly answered: “Wouldn’t we all – but we only deal in books!” She was able to help the practitioner find suitable books that her learner ended up enjoying – with minimal romance.

Tina’s commitment to her work and the user-focused nature of the library shows in her ability to find items with only minimal information.  She remembers one unusual request in particular that she got by email: “I borrowed a book last year with an orange cover.  I’d like to borrow it again.” Using all of her memory recall skills and a bit of detective work, she was able to find the correct book for the patron.

Under Tina’s leadership, the library offers a blog called Read All About Lit which provides readers with useful online and hardcopy resources. She has just started a Pinterest page showing new acquisitions in a graphic-based, interactive format.

“The library’s strength is in being user-focused, and its success is in getting information into the hands of library users when they need it,” she notes. “It’s particularly rewarding when someone shares how the resources they’ve borrowed have helped them and/or their learners. It’s an honour to be nominated for this award.”

It’s easy to join the Decoda library!  Register through the online catalogue or by email. All we need is your name, email address, mailing address and phone number.  Once you register, you have access to over 5,000 resources about literacy at your fingertips.  

If you reach Tina by phone (604-681-4199 x406), she may sing you a show tune or two! 
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