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Are You My Mentor? New Perspectives and Research on Informal Mentorship Julie James, Ashley Rayner, and Jeannette Bruno

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Presentation on theme: "Are You My Mentor? New Perspectives and Research on Informal Mentorship Julie James, Ashley Rayner, and Jeannette Bruno"— Presentation transcript:

1 Are You My Mentor? New Perspectives and Research on Informal Mentorship Julie James, Ashley Rayner, and Jeannette Bruno

2 Agenda Personal Introductions Research Introduction Formal Mentorship Informal Mentorship Why Mentorship? Quick Survey Survey Discussion Conclusions

3 Where Did This Idea Come From?

4 Formal Mentorship: A Definition A mandated senior-junior dyad with the purpose of the senior employee imparting wisdom about operational procedures in the institution to prepare the junior employee for promotion.

5 Examples of Formal Mentorship College and university tenure-track programs ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program YALSA’s Virtual Mentoring Program

6 Informal Mentorship: A Definition “Informal mentoring has minimal to no structure and oversight and may or may not have a clear and specific goal.” Best Practices: Mentoring. United States Office of Personnel Management. September 2008.

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8 What Makes a Good Mentorship? Goal-Setting Reciprocity Challenging Education Je ne sais quoi

9 Why is Mentorship Important? Recruitment Retention Inclusion Development Understanding Technological literacy

10 Especially for Librarians of Color Increased challenges Pipeline development Reflecting campus diversity

11 Any Drawbacks/Concerns? Initiative Lack of Confidence Too Much Structure No Connection

12 We know mentorship is valuable, but is informal mentorship just as legitimate as formal mentorship?

13 Short Survey/Audience Participation Have you had a formal mentorship? Have you had an informal mentorship? Have had no type of mentor relationship?

14 Our Survey 2707 possible participants 223 respondents completed the survey 153 held MLIS degrees

15 “This survey is completely useless because the definition of informal mentorship is inadequate. What is the difference between informal mentorship and simply having colleagues who, in an ongoing fashion, give you good advice or listen to your complaints? It is misleading to try to force "mentoring" into a box with boundaries around it, except for formal things -- which I would prefer to call internships or the like.” -Respondent

16 Demographics

17 Informal vs. Formal Mentors

18 Mentors by Institution Size

19 What Makes a Good Mentor?

20 What Defines an Informal Mentoring Experience?

21 What Defines a Formal Mentoring Experience?

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23 Supporting New Librarians

24 Questions? Contact us at and Mentoring Opportunities ALA and its divisions offers opportunities for mentees and mentors, discussion groups, and affiliate mentoring programs.


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