Mentor/Mentee 101: Developing a Career Essential Relationship

ALA’s New Member Roundtable (NMRT) posts monthly discussion topics on their listserv. This month’s topic is on mentorships. Here is the link to join the listserv–I don’t think you need to be an ALA member to join the NMRT listserv:

Here’s this month’s discussion topic–I thought there were some good questions:

My name is Tricia Dean; Esther Giezendanner and I I will be co-leading this month’s discussion with . Our topic this month is Mentor/Mentee 101: Developing a Career Essential Relationship. For individuals new to the profession, having a mentor can be a huge benefit. On the flip side, mentoring can be a great opportunity to share skills and expertise and connect with a newer colleague who may bring in a fresh perspective. How do we develop solid mentoring relationships that strengthen the individual participants and the profession as a whole?

Here are a few questions to get us started:
-What are some reasonable expectations for mentors and mentees?
-Are there any pitfalls that should be avoided when starting a new mentoring relationship?
-What are the benefits you’ve gained from having a mentor, or what benefits would you hope to gain from having a mentoring relationship?
-Various subdivisions of ALA and some libraries offer formal mentoring programs. What are the advantages and drawbacks of going this route?
If you’ve been in one of these programs what are the pluses and what do you think might have been better in an informal relationship?
-If none of the formal mentoring programs fit an individual’s needs, how might he/she find a mentor informally?

Looking forward to a great discussion with you,
Esther & Tricia

2009 FLIP meetings recap (so far)

Moving backward in time, here is a brief summary of the last few FLIP meetings.  It is the goal that from now on our meeting topics will carry over into this blog for further discussion, analysis, and/or general commentary.

July 21: A mid-summer meeting when attendance was low enough to promote discussion about how to increase attendance and participation in FLIP.  Possible future topics of discussion were brainstormed.  Hopefully, new ideas like this blog will help!

June 19: A discussion regarding travel to library conferences and the time/money/effort involved for both in-state and national events.

May 15: Andy Page, coordinator of the e-Learning graduate certificate program at UAA, was our “virtual” speaker.  Andy gave the group a thorough and enthusiastic overview of the program coursework – all the way from Indiana.  The relevance of integrating emerging technology tools into our education and careers was made perfectly clear with the seamless use of the online technology that made his participation possible.

April 17: Included discussions about developing project management skills and how they can be quite useful, if not actually required, for most professional library positions.

March 20: This  meeting took place the week after the Alaska Library Association’s annual meeting in Kodiak.  A few folks that got to go to Kodiak told the rest of us all about it.  In 2010, the AkLA annual meeting will be in Anchorage and we will all have the opportunity to participate AND volunteer to help make it a success.  Visit the 2010 AkLA Conference Planning Website for details.

February 20: About a dozen folks showed up for introductions and a brainstorm session on topics of interest to discuss for future meetings.