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Mentoring Jeanette Buckingham. Jeanette Buckingham, John W. Scott Health Sciences Library, University of Alberta Dagmara Chojecki, Knowledge Utilization.

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Presentation on theme: "Mentoring Jeanette Buckingham. Jeanette Buckingham, John W. Scott Health Sciences Library, University of Alberta Dagmara Chojecki, Knowledge Utilization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mentoring Jeanette Buckingham

2 Jeanette Buckingham, John W. Scott Health Sciences Library, University of Alberta Dagmara Chojecki, Knowledge Utilization Studies Program, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta Deborah Hicks, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, University of Alberta

3 What is a mentor? Ithacan noble whose disguise the goddess Athena assumed in order to act as the guide and adviser of the young Telemachus…an experienced and trusted counselor (OED)

4 My Mentor

5 From Nature’s Guide for Mentors Nature 2007, 447: 791-797 “Having a good mentor early in one’s career can mean the difference between success and failure in any career.” “Those who are good mentors get incalculably more out of it than they put into it.”

6 Mentor Roles Teacher/coach Interpreter/adviser Guide to a new culture Mentor for professional development— research, service—open new doors Role model Advocate Supporter/cheerleader


8 How do I get one? Intentional mentoring vs informal mentoring Ideally, you find your own mentor— you’re not assigned one

9 Main categories of mentoring: Youth-> personal, emotional, cognitive, personal growth Academic-> support & guidance on academic & other issues: fosters psychological adjustment & professional identity Workplace-> personal & professional growth—occurs in the workplace

10 First days at work after graduation

11 Work vs school Theory > practice Personal vs. organizational goals 360°appraisal—not just grades Multiple roles Contract—union or prof. assoc, contract Org chart—hierarchy Relation to supervisor—delegation Interpersonal skills matter New social cohort Oral communication is the norm Tacit knowledge—org culture Collaboration, cllegiality, teamwork Workflow & cycle Keeping up—life-long learning

12 Mentoring program for interns at the University of Alberta Libraries Institutional—Kathleen Delong- Associate Director for Human Resources: orientation program, continuous supportive resource Supervisory—Direct supervisor (head of unit library, etc.) Informal mentor (senior librarian, outside intern’s unit library)—assigned at the beginning of internship and continuing throughout—and often beyond.

13 What I do as Mentor Mom Meet the interns—find out what their interests are, what kind of people they are Think about appropriate mentors for them— matchmaking! Have Associate Director-HR vet my prospective list Contact mentors’ supervisors for permission Contact prospective mentors and twist arms, cajole, etc. Send a note to both the mentor and intern, with a small amount of literature on what a mentor is and does and how to make the relationship work. Sit back and trouble shoot—advise both mentors and interns; check in periodically to see how they are doing; check at the end of the year to see you things worked.

14 Tips for mentors Be available –Regular meetings –On call – drop what you need to drop—always be available –Emotionally/intellectually available as well as physically available Be confidential – be trustworthy Be positive, optimistic, encouraging Balance direction/self-direction (where are you between micromanagement and “sink or swim”?) Be respectful — of different goals, values, backgrounds, methods — of everyone Be nurturing

15 Tips for mentors-continued… Be questioning — ask questions and more questions and more questions… Listen Foster skills Read widely — share what you find Encourage research and publication – encourage “evidence-based librarianship” Celebrate Build community – help build a network

16 And still more tips for mentors… Know your way around the organization –Know the contract –Know the power structure –Know benefits –Know services –Know who knows Understand that the culture of librarianship and work is different from student culture — be a guide to the new culture

17 Should we train mentors? ARL SPEC Kit, Mentoring workshops ALA Workshops Bibliography

18 Preparing for the Mentor/Protégé Relationship

19 Get ready to be an effective Mentor Think about your own strengths & weaknesses Think about your best professional relationships and why they work Think about how you communicate Think about your professional ethics Look for ways to start to build a comfortable and trustful relationship Be excited about the opportunity to mentor Protégé Think about questions you have about your new job Be prepared to share information openly about yourself Think about how you communicate Think about your professional ethics Think about how this relationship will help you

20 Share your professional philosophy Mentor What is your professional vision? –What shaped your vision? –How has it changed over the years (if it has)? Encourage your protégé to develop a professional vision—suggest some resources to help Protégé Explore and cultivate your professional expectations –Why did you become a librarian? –Are your thoughts as a student borne out at work? –Are there disconnects between dreams and reality? Develop a vision of you as a librarian.

21 Cultivate on-going communication Mentor Choose your words--be –*supportive –*engaged –*confident –*honest –*credible Listen -- be empathetic and focused Be open to differences of opinion Take the time to resolve conflicts Protégé Be open and candid Describe concerns as objectively as you can (but vent if you need to!) Don’t be afraid to disagree – your fresh perspectives are a gift to your mentor Always ask questions Take the time to resolve conflicts

22 Develop a support network Mentor Make sure protégé is aware of the nature and sources of institutional support, community support if from out of town. Introduce protégé to established colleagues who might be helpful. Acquaint protégé with authority structure— who’s who in the organization Protégé Freely ask for help Get to know others in the library and larger organization Attend meetings and as many social functions as possible

23 Share professional knowledge Mentor Don’t underestimate what you know! Protégé Don’t underestimate what you know!

24 Plan together Mentor Ask about your protégé’s work, projects and ambitions Work out plans, routes, and timelines together Share tips and strategies Protégé Freely share your projects, ideas, and ambitions—and concerns Accept your mentor’s help in working out a plan of attack Share tips and strategies

25 Solve problems together Mentor Always be available for emergencies Remember (and remind your protégé) that your relationship is confidential and that it is safe to share concerns Help the protégé focus on the roots of the problem and on finding a practical solution Help with efforts to implement solutions > monitor progress Protégé Know that your mentor is always there for you Honestly assess the problem and its causes Consider possible solutions, their pros and cons Be open to other perspectives and be prepared to cooperate, collaborate, and compromise. Keep mentor apprised.

26 Self-evaluation: how do you know if you are/have been a good mentor?

27 Do mentorship programs work? Evaluation studies –outcome measures (behavior, attitude, health, career progression) –personal opinion surveys Meta-analyses/systematic reviews –Small (but statistically significant) improvements (performance, helping, satisfaction, psychological stress, interpersonal relations, motivation) or positive opinions Qualitative studies –sharing control and fairness major elements in establishing trust, plus the personal efforts of mentors

28 Do you need a mentorship program? For interns For new Staff For the institution

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