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