IS Mentoring Program Resource List

 PDF version of IS Mentoring Resources

Ackerman, E., Hunter, J., & Wilkinson, Z. T. (2018). The availability and effectiveness of research supports for early career academic librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 44(5), 553-568.  

Ackerman et al. surveyed tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track academic librarians as to early career experiences with research supportive activities, including formal and informal mentoring. Participants identified three areas of support that were most important: research design and methods, work practices and accountability, and emotional elements. Responses indicated that informal support was much more prevalent than formal, though librarians indicated both as beneficial. This study indicates that early career librarians would particularly benefit from mentoring, writing groups, and related activities to help develop familiarity with research practice and methods. 

Bicknell-Holmes, T. (2017). The Mentor: What Do YOU Need from a Mentor? PNLA Quarterly81(2), 9–11. Retrieved from 

This article discusses reasons why you might want a mentor, specifically setting goals of what you would like to get out of the relationship. It also gives brief overviews of roles that are similar to that of a mentor, but serve different purposes, such as advisor and sponsor.  

Colosimo, A., Desmeules, R.E., & McKinnon, D. (2017). Whole-person mentoring for every stage of careers in librarianship. Library Leadership & Management, 32(1), 1–13. Retrieved from  

The authors describe the McGill Library Mentoring Program where all librarians, of all experience levels, job responsibilities, and backgrounds are included as both mentors and mentees.  Everyone regardless of position has something to share and something to learn, and this program allows the librarians to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of their colleagues. Additionally, this program focuses on the whole person, rather than simply one aspect.  Aspects include personal development, workplace culture, work-life balance as well as more traditional topics such as career advancement, tenure and promotion. 

Farrell, B., Alabi, J., Whaley, P., & Jenda, C. (2017). Addressing psychosocial factors with library mentoring. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 17(1), 51-69. doi:10.1353/pla.2017.0004  

Mentoring programs need to be addressing specific factors to create an inclusive environment for librarians, specifically racial microaggressions, imposter syndrome, and burnout. The authors survey the literature on mentoring to look for support for these problems and include strategies that mentors can use to address them with mentees. 

Goodsett, M., & Walsh, A. (2015). Building a strong foundation: Mentoring programs for novice tenure-track librarians in academic libraries. College & Research Libraries, 76(7), 914–933.  

This study addresses the role mentoring programs play in helping new academic librarians to meet the requirements of tenure-track positions.  Drawing on interviews and survey data, the authors seek to identify the key elements that define successful mentoring programs. 

Hussey, L. K., & Campbell-Meier, J. (2017). Is there a mentoring culture within the LIS profession? Journal of Library Administration57(5), 500–516.   

This study reports on the results of a survey designed to gauge the role of mentoring in LIS professions. Survey responses suggest that information professionals have varied mentoring experiences and also different understandings of what constitutes mentoring.  While some survey responses focused on mentoring relationships that are workplace-centered, others had a more personal focus. 

James, Rayner, & Bruno. (2015). Are You My Mentor? New Perspectives and Research on Informal Mentorship. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(5), 532-539.  

This article discusses a study done on informal mentorship relationships and the benefits to this type of mentoring. While this study is about informal mentorship, many of the findings have implications for mentoring relationships in general, such as qualities mentees look for in a mentor. 

Johnson, E. A. (Ed.) (2017). Librarian as mentor: grow, discover, inspire. Santa Barbara, CA: Mission Bell Media.  

Johnson has assembled 14 contributors for her discussion of mentorship in libraries.  Each chapter describes the mentoring experience of a different librarian, many of whom come from academic libraries.  The contributors introduce a variety of methods for engaging in mentoring relationships and a diversity of library sizes and workplace situations.  They also include a summary of their key reflections on mentoring at the end of each chapter along with a short bibliography. 

Kenefick, C. & DeVito, J. A. (2015). From Treading Water to Smooth Sailing: Mentoring for New Academic Librarians. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 22(1), 90–96.  

This article was written by two librarians paired in a formal mentoring program – one with 25 years experience, one in the first year as a librarian. Tenure-track librarians may be most interested in this article because these librarians write from that perspective. Overall, this provided a good perspective on the mutual benefits of a formal mentoring program.     

Lorenzetti, D. L., & Powelson, S. E. (2015). A scoping review of mentoring programs for academic librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(2), 186–196.   

The purpose of this study was to comprehensively review the best practices and current trends for mentoring programs in academic libraries. The authors conducted a scoping review of the existing literature on academic library mentoring programs. 

Lowe-Wincentsen, D. (Ed.). (2016). Beyond mentoring: A guide for librarians and information professionals. Cambridge, MA: Chandos Publishing, an imprint of Elsevier. 

This wellrounded text describes a variety of mentoring programs for library staff both in groups and within one on one mentoring programs. A diversity of programs and mentoring styles are included ranging from structured mentoring in the workplace to the type of informal mentoring that can take place through social networks online. The authors also look at mentoring relationships such as peer coaching and peer support relationships that can exist across different institutions. Mentoring is taken into consideration for new staff at the beginning of a career as well as those who are mid or at the end of their career. Both running and developing mentoring programs are covered using real experiences with mentoring programs. 

McHone-Chase, S. (2016). Mentors make it better…but not all are created equal. ILA Reporter, 34(5), 4-6.  

The author details different mentoring models for formal, informal, and blends of both and discusses positive gains that can be achieved. McHone-Chase interviewed library directors and librarians to identify pros and cons for different mentoring models and outlines characteristics and strategies for effective mentoring.    

Sears, S. (2014). Mentoring to grow library leaders. Journal of Library Administration, 54(2), 127–134.   

The article discusses the impact of mentoring on librarians as a way to produce new library leaders. Topics discussed include informal mentoring between a library supervisor and a direct report, formal mentoring programs offered by national and state library organizations, and informal mentoring through practices such as job shadowing. 

Smigielski, E., Laning, M., & Daniels, C. (2014). Funding, Time, and Mentoring: A Study of Research and Publication Support Practices of ARL Member Libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 54(4), 261-276.  

This article discussed a study that found that mentoring was one of three most impactful practices of supporting ARL faculty librarians in their research and publishing endeavors. From their study data, 83.3% of libraries with tenure offered mentoring programs while 66.7% of libraries without tenure offered mentoring programs.  

Usova, T., & Anderson, S. (2017). Mentorship: making it work. PNLA Quarterly, 81(1), 26–31.  

The authors describe a mentoring program instituted by a small library association in Alberta, which concentrated on connecting new graduates and library school students with experienced librarians.  They report on the outcomes of the program, and also discuss aspects for planning a mentoring program that would lead to greater success.  They also outline characteristics and behaviors for mentees and mentors that will make the experience effective. 

Van Horn, C. (2016). Connect, build, develop: Forming effective liaison strategies through peer mentoring and partnership. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship21(2), 89-94.  

Van Horn discusses her personal experience with peer mentoring as she became the business and economics liaison at Auburn University. Her peer mentor, a fellow liaison librarian, helped Van Horn navigate the duties of her position, specifically collection development, subject training, and outreach to faculty and students. The familiarity with job duties was invaluable in a way different than established faculty mentoring, which tended to focus more on research and similar tenure requirements. The informal, at point of need nature of peer mentoring leverages the collective experiences of mentors to build a foundation for librarians in new positions. 

Williams, G. H. (2019). Mentoring mid-career: Reflections on fostering a culture of mentorship for experienced librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship45(2), 171–173.  

 This article discusses approaches for mentoring mid-career librarians or for mid-career librarians to consider when working to build their own networks. Specifically it addresses different needs that mid-career librarians might have compared to more junior librarians. 

Last revised: June 2019