Chess in the Library (CITL) is nonprofit organization that promotes chess in public libraries across North America. The organization was founded by Yuanling Yuan in June 2009 as she successfully launched the pilot program at the Brookbanks library in Toronto after her freshman year in high school.
Spurred from a desire to give back to the community that had unconditionally supported her chess endeavors, Yuanling envisioned a series of chess programs at local public libraries that would give the underpriviliedged the opportunity to learn and play chess at no cost. CITL started with Yuanling volunteering her time each week at one local library and by the end of 2009 it had already grown to 5 locations in Toronto.
"Chess in the Library was my way of sharing my passion with the world while simultaneously enabling kids everywhere to develop both cognitive and non-cognitive skills through chess."
—Yuanling Yuan, Founder of Chess in the Library
Throughout the remainder of her 3 years in high school, Yuanling, together with the help of her team, expanded CITL to 30 public libraries across North America, recruited over 200 student volunteers and organized 3 annual festivals that brought together people from all CITL locations. By then, CITL had made chess activities accessible to more than 10,000 people.
Yuanling stepped down as President in September 2012 when she began her studies at Yale University. However, that didn't stop the CITL team from continuing to spread the love for chess. Today, the organization continues to grow under new leadership. Chess in the Library has been recognized by the Chess Federation of Canada for its remarkable contribution to chess in Canada.