I have recently attended a training day about mentoring that was organised by CILIP. The first half of the day introduced general concepts of mentoring and coaching, broken up by some practical exercises. The afternoon introduced CILIP’s take on mentoring and how it’s used as part of the professional registration processes.
It was a useful day and I have since applied to become a CILIP mentor.
I really hope that they don’t change the rules about who can mentor whom. At the moment, the rules only state that someone going through one of the registration processes (that’s Certification, Chartership and Fellowship) needs a CILIP-trained mentor, but not that the mentor needs to have an equal or higher registration level (which you might expect for Fellowship, for example). The mentee chooses a mentor they want to work with and if both parties agree, the process starts and takes however long it takes.
I love the idea that going for Fellowship status could involve being mentored by a library assistant who has just completed their Certification. After being a manager for a while it can be difficult to know what happens ‘on the front line’ and the odd half day on a library counter will never tell you. Staff might also not be as honest with you once you’re the boss, for reasons you can’t even guess at. A mentor who works at a lower level (and is passionate about their work) could help you get in touch with that side of the library landscape and give you new insights and ideas for improving your own service and organisation. That is a very exciting thought!
Please, CILIP, make these links possible and encourage them.