Welcome! This Guide supports the ISU Library's Mentoring Program for new librarians. You'll find here mentoring goals, resources, information, tips, and more. Even if you are not a participant in our Mentoring Program, you'll still find useful resources and information here. This guide is a work in progress - do feel free to suggest additional resources!
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For questions or comments on this Guide, please contact Susan Vega García.
The primary goals of the University Library's Mentoring Program are to help new academic librarian I's and II's during their post-onboarding process at the Library and ISU, and to provide support in developing sense of belonging and inclusion, developing and achieving career goals, building one's network, and addressing issues of interest / concern and components of success toward promotion. Mentees should be encouraged to take an active role in mentoring meetings to focus on their needs and goals. Mentors should listen to the mentee's issues, career goals, projects, and needs and provide support / guidance as necessary, as well as provide new librarians with an objective and experienced source for information and resources for their professional success.
Duration: As of March 2023, formal mentoring relationships through the Mentoring Program are intended to last a full calendar year with the option to continue for a 2nd year. After formal mentoring concludes, mentees should keep in mind that their mentor can still be a useful consultant on professional issues, preparing a manuscript for publication, etc.
Mentee Eligibility: Academic Librarian I's and II's new to the ISU Library are eligible to participate in the Mentoring program. All "new to ISU" librarians are strongly encouraged to participate.
Mentor Eligibility: In FY23, the library changed its promotion process for Academic Librarians. To a small extent, this may impact eligibility requirements for serving as a mentor in the library's Mentoring Program. As of this writing (March 22, 2023), eligibility requirements remain as follows: Librarians who have successfully gone through the ISU library's promotion process and have achieved a rank of Librarian II or higher, or are faculty librarians, are eligible to serve as potential mentors. Alternatively, interested librarians who enter as AL III or higher can also elect to serve as a mentor without having yet completed their own first promotion at ISU Library. Potential mentors must exhibit positive attitudes toward helping new librarians navigate this new environment and have good interpersonal skills. Mentors must commit necessary time and energy to the mentoring partnership! Ordinarily, mentors in the program will be of a higher rank than their mentee, and must have successfully gone through the library's promotion process in order to ensure informed guidance and discussions on promotion as well as professional development. Thus, a Librarian I would typically be mentored by a Librarian II or higher, and so on. Ordinarily, mentors will not be the mentee's direct supervisor. The supervisor will already be meeting with the mentee, and one of the goals of the mentoring program is to widen the professional network of "new to ISU" librarians and provide access to objective, experienced, and informed professional staff. For the same reason, mentors and mentees need not be in the same department or division.
Note that as our program develops, we may adjust these guidelines.
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Getting Started: What should you do when beginning a mentoring partnership? Please consider this short list:
Program Assessment: The Mentoring Program supervisor will periodically check-in with mentoring partners; assessment surveys to all Mentoring Program participants have also been conducted in 2019 and 2022 via short anonymous surveys to assess how things are going. Participants should also reach out to the Mentoring Program supervisor anytime with questions, need or support, suggestions for improvement, anything! Your openness and participation in assessment and improvement is strongly encouraged so that we can continually improve.