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Librarian Mentoring Program

Guidelines, resources and best practices

Successful mentoring relationships are built around the needs and career goals of the mentee.  Each mentoring relationship is unique and must be negotiated on an individual basis to match the needs of the mentee and the resources the mentor brings to the relationship.  Mentors can help new librarians in the following areas:

I. Getting to Know the Institution

  • Learning institutional policies and procedures for attendance, reimbursable expenses, requesting travel leave, etc. 
  • Understanding the academic culture of the university
  • Understanding the library climate
  • Appreciating the social and political dynamic in their new departments and colleagues
  • Help in understanding the MSCA union contract as it applies to librarians
  • Identifying and using resources to support librarian and research activities
  • Building a network of junior and senior colleagues
  • Appreciating the social and political dynamic in their new departments and colleagues

II.  Career Development

  • Prepare for the tenure and promotion processes by answering questions related the formal criteria, building a portfolio, sharing their first hand experiences, and so on
  • How to find or get nominated for fellowships, grants, awards
  • Suggestions and resources for setting professional goals
  • Provide suggestions for relevant departments and people to get to know 
  • Advice on committees to join and procedures for getting on the agenda of important meetings
  • Suggestions and advice on how to handle concerns, issues, problems in the department as well as appropriate ways to bring them up
  • Identify or help develop strategies for handling the balance of assigned responsibilities, service, scholarship, and professional activities as well as between career and home life 

III.  Professional Development

  • Constructive feedback on portfolios, proposals, presentations, papers
  • Suggestions for the development of effective teaching & presentation strategies
  • Advice on the selection of professional activities commitments
  • Advice on the selection of continuing scholarship activities
  • Access to an expanded network of professional contacts