Friday, March 30, 2007

Mentoring in Progress

Do you read this blog regularly? Are you a working YA or school librarian? Do you intend to be a working YA or school librarian? Have ever been a working YA or school librarian, and you're just dying to share your wisdom??

Yes, there is a purpose to these questions.

In November, I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of ALA's Emerging Leaders, one of just over one hundred (relatively) new librarians selected to work on various projects for ALA. My group is designing a mentorship program for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and American Association of School Librarians (AASL). We will design the program, present it at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C. in June, and after that, it's up to YALSA and AASL to decide whether or not to implement the program.

We have decided that, since no librarian works in a vacuum (although, don't you wonder what that might look like? Would it be like the moon, or the inside of a hoover?), we ought to get some feedback from the people who would actually participate in a mentorship program. This will both strengthen our final paper and presentation and offer YALSA and AASL some real-life feedback on some possible responses to a mentorship program.

If you are interested in helping us shape our project, answer the following questions (or at least the ones that apply to you) in the comments by Monday, April 8.

Here are the questions:

1) If you are new to young adult or school librarianship (in the field for less than five years or still in library school), how interested would you be in having a mentor to orient you to your profession and to your professional organization?

2) If you have been a librarian for longer than five years, did you have a mentor? Do you think you would have benefitted from participating in a formal mentoring program?

3) If you have been a librarian for longer than five years and active in either YALSA or AASL for three years (active means any and all of the following: participation in online listservs, attendance at professional conferences, participation on a committee or board), how interested are you in sharing your knowledge with a new librarian?

4) What are your general thoughts on mentorship programs and their place in the field of libraries?

Thank you so much for your help with this! I will be sure to let you know if and when this program gets off the ground so that you can be involved!

Thank you for your help...and I promise to review something next week :).

1 comment:

Slaughter-Kinney said...

I have been a librarian a little over a year. I am passionate about youth development and aspire to being my system's teen advocate.

I would like a mentor who is specifically involved in service to teens in an urban area. I have been hesitant to reach out via a formalized program. I was hoping to find someone I identified with through my own experiences with lists and blogs. I now realize that even if the magical person appeared I might not take the time to ask them for help.

Many of the older librarians in my system range from being blissfully out-of-touch to being downright rude to teens. I have isolated myself out of fear of getting any more advice that starts with "we tried something like that fifteen years ago and (insert horrible thing) happened...".

I do want a mentor, and I need it to happen through a formal program, and I need to trust that mentors will self-select based on success and passion.