- “Provide support by being an attentive listener, offering encouragement about your potential for success, being willing to collaborate on projects, and creating a safe environment that encourages risk-taking and provides the opportunity to develop professionally and personally.
- Initiate sponsorship and share power by encouraging participation in professional committees, offering
to co-author papers or presentations, and endorsing your research.
- Demystify the system by explaining how the library or organization works, who is who on the campus or
within the community, what skills and competencies are needed to excel, how to advance, and what to
avoid along the way.
- Nurture your dreams and support aspirations by affirming your strengths and potential.
- Foster networks by introducing you to others in the field and encouraging you to seek the advice of others.”
I think, the perception “that most mentoring takes place without either mentor or mentee thinking of it as a mentoring process.” (Shontz 2002) totally applies to me. I probably fall in the “self-managed mentoring” category (Freedman 2008):
“In this mentoring relationship, a mentee is responsible for and proactive about his/her own professional development by seeking mentoring-type relationships as the need arises. A person has a number of mentors simultaneously, each collaborating to develop the particular strengths of a mentee.”
I have some very encouraging library management as well as colleagues and friends in the library world and beyound, acting as informal mentors giving their opinion and advice freely on career plans and professional opportunities.
In the course of this week’s tasks, I had a look at formal mentorship programs. I had a closer look at
- the BIB@Mento – the one-year BIB mentoring programme, but I have been working for more than 8 years in libraries and I am not sure, if I will still qualify as newcomer.
I might also look into mentorship opportunities for women in leadership. There are
- the mentoring programme of Soroptimist International;
- the Cross-mentoring of the Expertinnen-Beratungsnetz Bremen.
I will keep these ideas in mind and put it on my agenda for next year. However, as I like the idea of reflecting on decisions, strategies and background information, I am going to start to keep a journal.
Photo: Breacon Beacons National Park, Wales, July 2011.