Week 7: Librarianship training options

Thing 11: Mentoring

Having thought about mentoring now I realise that I am actually quite lucky.

In previous posts I have been mentored by a few people, some being formal mentors, other informal ones. I feel that so far I have benefited more from informal mentoring, as it’s been on a more personal level and I felt that I could open up more. Unfortunately I haven’t been very good at keeping in touch and have lost most of those former connections. I also moved from an academic to a public library environment and many people are not comfortable in advising you when they work in a different sector. Not sure why, as librarians are librarians, in the end.

Mentors have provided me with advice about where to go next in my career and search for a professional post, explained the inside politics of a new work place, provided professional opportunities, and have listened to my concerns and ideas. Sometimes they have even been in the position to take my ideas on board.

I now have (at least) two informal mentors in my workplace. One of them wants me to succeed because she is my friend, the other can see potential in me. I know that often I have “controversial” views (within my organisation), so they both suffer that but generally my friend-mentor is fine with them and my other mentor listens and reigns me in a little if necessary. Both approaches have their place and I’m sure I’ve been saved embarrassment and trouble in the past (thanks!). I wouldn’t necessarily see my line manager as a mentor as providing me with opportunities and develop me is a line manager’s job but sometimes this feels like a mentoring relationship too.

Further I see some people on twitter as mentors of mine. They provide me with ideas, a sounding board, they calm me down and encourage me and also serve a role models. Thanks to you too!

Thanks also for the tips in the latest CPD23 post on how to approach someone about mentoring. I will have a think about that and see if I can enter into a formal mentoring relationship.

I also enjoyed reading Nicole’s post on mentoring over at the Pumped Librarian blog.

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