Mentoring is a major component of the College Library Director Mentoring Program. We match the first-year college library director with an experienced college library director. This is to provide the first-year director with an experienced listener who wants to help but not tell. Each director is to visit the other director’s library at least once during the year. The first visit should be made very early to establish a firm foundation for the relationship. The program cannot support the costs of long distance travel, and distance can impede the needed interaction. Therefore, usually the two directors are within a three to four hours driving time from each other; however, individuals can be too close in geographical proximity, which can obstruct the development of a confidential relationship.
The mentoring relationship varies depending on the needs of the first-year director. To facilitate a conversation about the nature of the relationship, both the first-year director and the mentor are asked to fill out expectations worksheets. These worksheets are useful in reaching a mutual agreement about roles, responsibilities and expectations. One requirement is that it should be a confidential relationship in which both parties can speak freely.
Mentors come from colleges ranging from Amherst to Centre and Wofford to Wooster. During the first 20 years, 152 individuals (59 men and 93 women) have served as mentors, including 66 who had participated in the program originally as first-year library directors. In total, 381 unique individuals have participated in the program either as first-year directors or as mentors.
If you’re interested in serving as a mentor, please contact us.