Are you looking to share your skills and knowledge? Do you want to inspire yourself and others? Join the ranks of YALSA members who are giving back to the profession one person at a time! YALSA’s virtual mentoring program pairs an experienced librarian (5 or more years) with a new librarian (4 or less years) in a year-long partnership. Participants are asked to devote 4 hours a month to the program. Since this is a virtual program, participants don’t need to meet face-to-face and can decide for themselves what the best way for them to communicate is. It could be email, skype, google hangouts, facetime – whatever works best for them. It is important to remember that because the program is virtual participants must be comfortable working in that environment and be committed to communicating regularly with each other.
The Mentoring Taskforce surveyed the most recent batch of mentors and protégés who completed the program to find out how the program impacted them. The feedback we received convinced us that the program is very worthwhile and something that benefits the mentor as much as the protégé. We received a variety of thoughtful answers to the four questions we asked. Here is a summary of the responses we received from mentors:
· Why did you decide to join the mentoring program?
We wanted to know what motivated the participants to volunteer their time and expertise and the responses we received from mentors indicated a desire to share their experience, learn from their protégés and give back to the profession. Survey respondents stated:
“I am excited about teen services and wanted to share my experiences as a librarian, and successes and challenges I have found in this aspect of librarianship.”
“I thought it would be both a learning experience for me and an opportunity for me to pass on some of what I learned in the last six to seven years to someone new to the field of YA librarianship.”
Another indicated she enjoyed the mentoring process: “When I took a job at a library vendor, I missed the chance to mentor in person, so I was happy to find an opportunity to do it virtually.”