Purpose of Program: The CJCLS Mentoring Program, organized by the CJCLS Mentoring Program Committee, matches new librarians or librarians less experienced with serving distance students to appropriate mentors in the field in order to learn from experienced CJCLS librarians, develop skills, network, and pursue professional goals. In addition to these benefits, participating in the mentorship program as either a mentor or mentee helps to facilitate communication between CJCLS members, foster a sense of community within CJCLS, and increase knowledge on both sides through the exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences.
Program Timeline: The CJCLS Mentoring Pilot Program runs April 1 to June 30, 2022 with both mentor and mentee applications accepted February 15 to March 15, 2022. After the pilot program has been completed and reviewed, a formal mentorship is expected to last approximately 10 months (September 1 through May 31).
Requirements for Participation:
For Mentees - Open to all who are currently employed at a community college library as a librarian, staff, administrator, or students enrolled in or recent graduates from graduate-level Library and Information Science (MLIS) programs. For Mentors - Currently employed at a community college library as a librarian or administrator with a minimum of 4 years of library experience.
Matching Mentors and Mentees:
After the application process has closed, CJCLS Mentoring Program committee members will pair mentors with mentees based on intended areas of professional growth. The committee will do their best to match the professional interests of mentors and mentees, but matching depends on applicant pool and availability. The committee can later change a mentor-mentee partnership if needed—please contact the committee chair.
Setting Goals and Objectives:
Once mentor/mentees have been paired, the CJCLS Mentoring Program Committee will alert all program participants of their match and share mentor/mentee contact information. After the pairing, there will be a Mentoring Program Kick-Off Meeting to review the expectations. It is recommended that mentors get in touch with their mentees early in the program to set goals using the Mentee Goal Sheet provided in the ACRL CJCLS Mentoring Program Support Documents for Pairs folder. First meetings/communication can be used to:
1. Establish mentee personal goals and specific skill areas the mentor can focus on.
2. Set priorities of which goals and skills the mentor and mentee would like to work on
3. Establish a tentative mentorship timeline of when the mentor/mentee pair will communicate, how frequently, and through what medium.
4. Brainstorm potential activities that may be beneficial to the mentee’s goals (for example: webinars, resume reviews, virtual job shadows, virtual conferences, in-person conferences, local events near the mentee).
Building trust is the first step that the mentor should work towards, specifically ensuring that the conversations taking place are confidential. Mentors are expected to communicate with their mentees over the course of the program in whatever medium works best for the mentor/mentee pair. For example: email exchanges, online meetings, face to face meetings, phone call conversations, shared virtual activities, live field trips, etc. Participants will be asked about their communication successes and challenges on a survey distributed at the end of the mentorship year to provide feedback and assessment of the CJCLS Mentorship Program. Mentors may want to save a copy of their mentee’s Goal Sheet to assist with filling out the survey.
Mentors are expected to reach out to their mentees if they don’t hear from them within the first two weeks of September. An introductory email, phone call, letter, etc. is recommended. While the CJCLS Mentoring Program Committee will alert all mentees of their mentor names and contact information, it is the responsibility of the mentor to initiate conversations and establish meetings and activities (based on the needs of the mentee). If a mentor does not hear back from their mentee after trying to reach out for a month, mentors are expected to contact the committee chair. A mentorship pair can be changed or terminated if participation does not take place or any issues arise.
Trust is the cornerstone of a good mentoring relationship. As such, please respect and keep confidential all conversations between you and your Mentor. Mentees are expected to communicate with their mentors over the course of the program in whatever medium works best for the mentor/mentee pair. It is the mentee’s responsibility to alert their mentor to communication methods that work best for them. Participants will be asked about their communication successes and challenges on a survey distributed at the end of the mentorship year to provide feedback and assessment of the CJCLS Mentorship Program. Mentees may want to save their Goal Sheet to assist with filling out the survey.
If you do not communicate with your mentor or the CJCLS committee within the first month of the mentorship arrangement (September), you will be considered inactive from the program. Mentees are expected to respect the time of their mentor and understand they are serving in a volunteer position in addition to their jobs, committees, and daily lives. If mentees feel they are not getting the most out of their mentorship experience, they can contact the CJCLS committee for assistance. A mentorship pair can be changed or terminated if participation does not take place or any issues arise.