I've recently restarted a mentoring program for my state library association. I'm trying to find ways to get people more involved in the program. If you are a mentor, what inspired you to step up? If you have been thinking about it, but haven't taken the plunge, what stopped you? Lastly, what do you think would make a mentoring program more attractive to you?
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I can speak to a mentoring program within a medium-sized academic library, which is admittedly less geographically distributed than a state library association.
Our library has established a very low-maintenance mentoring program through our library faculty organization. Each year, all interested librarians sign up to be a potential mentor. These librarians submit a short bio of themselves that includes their research interests, their work areas, and other non-work info if desired. These profiles are posted on our staff website. When a new librarian is hired, that person can peruse the profiles of the mentors and choose who s/he would like to be paired with. The mentoring program is only a couple years old, but participation is good so far.
These are some factors that make our mentoring program attractive to mentors and mentees:
What inspired me to step up: I have benefited greatly from relationships with my mentors, and I am new enough myself to remember what it was like to be starting out at my organization, in my city, and in librarianship.
i was in a mentoring program at my last library job and it was a great experience though very informal and, ultimately, cut short since i left the job. it was run by the county library system i worked for and i was paired with a veteran staff member that had basicaly the same position i did (though at a much busier branch). i think for both my mentor and myself, having system-sanctioned time to meet each month was one of the main reasons we were open to the mentoring program. it makes a big difference when on your monthly schedule, there's specific time - i think it was 4 hours - set aside.