2024 Volunteers of the Year – Branches T-W

Tully Community Branch Library – Helen Pham

Helen Pham has been a Teens Reach volunteer at Tully Branch since April 2022 and has been a regular face at the library almost every week. She has an easy-going approach about everything and nothing seems to ruffle her cool, calm demeanor. Her maturity shows through her volunteer work – showing up on time and completing her tasks as instructed, even volunteering for extra duties. She got elected to be Teens Reach President and dedicated herself to creating a Discord channel to maintain communication among teen volunteers, creating polls and posting new announcements, as well as leading fundraising efforts. All her work has kept other teen volunteers more engaged and been extremely helpful to library staff!

Get to know a little about Helen:

  • I am most proud of... being able to earn college credit through dual enrollment and passing AP exams.
  • My role model... Via Li.
  • My community... shaped me in a way to be the best version of myself.

Village Square Branch Library – David Chin

David Chin leads the Bollywood Dance program at Village Square Branch Library. Always cheerful and energetic, David has an infectious energy that brings a smile to everyone around him. His weekly program is always accompanied by laughs, smiles, banging music and of course a lot of sweat! He’s become a staple presence at Village Square, and the staff feels very proud and lucky to have him as one of their star volunteers.

Get to know a little about David:

  • As a child... I traveled with my grandfather to live from military bases to military bases, & went to various on-base daycare facilities.
  • My fondest memory... during my first year staying with my father while I was pre-teen, I knew no English & had no money; but I discovered music videos on MTV which brought my spirits up.
  • My role model... anyone who’s kind, generous & sensitive to the feelings of others.

Vineland Branch Library – Jade Chau

Jade is extremely dedicated, passionate and has a tremendous impact at the Vineland Library. She cares about and wants to help her community. She replenishes seeds and helps select new offerings for the Branch’s Seed Library. She used her knowledge as a Partners In Reading tutor to help create and facilitate their new ELL Beginning English program. Though it only started a couple months ago, she already has several students that come back each week and are eager to learn more and practice their English.

Get to know a little about Jade:

  • My fondest memory... is as a child, I was in a children’s choir that toured Asia. I loved the comradery, signing, and traveling. From the experience, I got to learn about other cultures and to appreciate people’s differences.
  • If I had a superpower, it would be... to make anything grow. Right now, my seeds refuse to germinate!
  • If I weren't volunteering... I'd be gardening!

West Valley Branch Library – Betty Becker

Betty has been a Reading to Children volunteer at the West Valley Branch Library since Feb. 2023. As a Reading to Children volunteer, Betty comes to the branch once a week for an hour to read picture books to children. Betty’s service to the branch and the community has been exemplary. Betty has an expressive reading style that brings books to life and engages the imaginations of her young audience. In addition, Betty’s warm personality and positive attitude are appreciated by our staff and the parents and children who attend her program. Betty knows how to establish rapport with children. Her friendly smile puts them at ease, creating a safe and comfortable space for children to enjoy books. One of the goals of the Reading to Children program is fostering a love of books and reading by children, and Betty accomplishes those goals. Every week, Betty’s service makes a difference in the lives of children as she sparks their imaginations through the power of children’s literature.

Get to know a little about Betty:

  • My fondest memory... is traveling through Europe on my own, when I was 24 years old. I visited many countries in Europe, but the one that impressed me the most was Italy.
  • My role model... is Helen Keller. When I was a child, I read a book about her. Her perseverance in the face of her disabilities was inspiring.
  • My community... is great! I live in a culturally and racially diverse large Townhouse Complex with thoughtful, friendly, and helpful neighbors. I love watching my neighbors walk their dogs from my kitchen window.

Willow Glen Branch Library – Sally Videan

When she retired, Sally wanted to give back to her Willow Glen community, and as an avid reader she decided to gift the library with her time. Since then, Sally has been volunteering with the Willow Glen Library serving in many different roles. While she started out assisting with shelving in 2018, Sally stepped up to help when the library needed a new reader for the Reading to Children program, and she now also does double duty by hosting a Legos program once a month as a part of the Branch’s Friday Fun for kids series. During the pandemic, Sally also answered the call to create virtual programming options by interacting with kids over Zoom in a virtual Reading to Children program and she served as a virtual Homework Club Coach too.

Having a volunteer like Sally who is willing to try new things and help out wherever she is needed is so wonderful. Willow Glen is so appreciative of the time she spends at the library every week reading to kids (and sometimes letting them read to her!)

Get to know a little about Sally:

  • As a child… I think I was kind of shy. We moved around so much and I was always the new kid. I didn’t start to grow out of it until I was in high school when I was at the same school for a few years. And once you get to know people and establish a rapport with them you become more outgoing. I was also a bit rambunctious – a little bit of a tomboy too.
  • I am most proud of… my working career - the fact that I got a starter job out of college and was able to work my way up into a really great job where I was able to afford to buy a house.
  • My role model… was a boss I had that taught me what I needed to know for my job, plus more. He took me under his wing, and he was not only a boss but a mentor, and he became a very good friend.