Cam Tu Diep, librarian at Beatties Ford Regional Library, conducting technology tutoring in Vietnamese.

On Beatties Ford Road, a librarian teaches digital literacy in Vietnamese

Cam Tu Diep is a librarian at the Beatties Ford Road Regional Branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. At the end of the day, when she is done with her librarian duties, she tutors the Vietnamese speaking community in Charlotte.

In May 2014, Cam Tu began technology tutoring in Vietnamese. Before then, she had held two group sessions once a month. But she started one-on-one tutoring because of the interest in computer skills shown by her students. One-on-one sessions make it easier for her to focus on the individual needs of students.

The individuals who sign up for Vietnamese tech tutoring on Beatties Ford Road, a branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, are more fluent in their native language than in English. Cam Tu is able to reach these people so well because she is fluent in both. She has observed great improvement from her returning students, although their questions and experience levels differ.

“It’s rewarding that I get to help, and I see them grow in the technology skills,” she says. “When students return for another session, they say, ‘I learned how to do what you showed me. Now when I go back to my job, I have the skills to do the work that I need to do.'”

Skill levels vary, but most of the students know basic tools, such as using the mouse and basic Internet search skills. Because of the vast range of skill levels, there was a need for one-on-one tutoring. Some of the most frequent technology questions she receives are related to Microsoft Office products, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other office products. Another popular tutoring topic is E-Readers.

Many students attend the tutoring sessions because they want to advance in their careers. Students want to build skills to apply for jobs that require familiarity with technology. Because she is able to answer tech questions for them, it strengthens confidence in current jobs and gives students a better chance at moving into new ones.

Cam Tu says she provides this service for the Vietnamese speaking community because it is rewarding for her to see her students grow and obtain skills they need to be successful.

”We want to serve a diverse population and make the library a welcoming place for all, and also a go-to place for literacy and life-long learning,” she says. “Vietnamese community technology tutoring is aimed to serve that purpose.”