British Columbia Library Association

Mentorship Program

Why Mentorship?

The BCLA Mentorship Program exists to connect and empower Association members by fostering positive relationships in the library community. The program encourages sharing, and aims to promote leadership and commitment to the profession.

Benefits to mentors:

  • Developing new relationships and meeting new colleagues in the library community
  • Practicing and refining leadership and coaching skills
  • Receiving recognition for experience and accomplishments
  • Getting a fresh perspective and insight into the challenges that face new professionals

Benefits to mentees:

  • Access to feedback and suggestions from experienced professionals in the field
  • Meeting and developing professional relationships with colleagues
  • Insight into the realities of library and information work

While networking is encouraged, the Mentorship Program does not exist to facilitate job placements or internships.

Who should get involved?

Mentors

Are you an experienced library professional? Are you a good communicator and an active participant in the profession? Do you have strong interpersonal and leadership skills? Are you interested in challenging and encouraging a less experienced member of the library community? If you answered yes to these questions, you would be an ideal mentor. Experienced library professionals at all levels and in all types of libraries can make great mentors. Membership in BCLA is encouraged, but is not a pre-requisite for mentors wishing to participate in the program.

Mentees

Are you inquisitive and curious about your chosen profession? Are you willing to learn and able to accept feedback graciously? Are you willing to enter into an open, honest dialogue? If you answered yes to these questions, you would be a suitable mentee. Mentees must be BCLA members in good standing in order to be eligible for the program. If you are not currently a member of BCLA, please sign up today.

Potential Mentees could include:

  • New graduates
  • Current students
  • Newly employed library workers
  • Library workers new to Canada or B.C.
  • Employees returning to the workforce after an extended absence

I’m sold, what do I do now?

Now that we have sold you on the benefits of professional mentorship, please apply for our next mentorship session.

April 25, 2019: application forms close, pairing begins.

May 13, 2019: session starts; get in touch with your mentor/mentee!

July 5, 2019: session ends; please complete the follow-up survey

I’ve applied. What happens next?

Once you have filled out the online application, you can expect an acknowledgement email within 10 days. If you have not received an email after 10 days, please contact bclamentorship@gmail.com to ensure your application has gone through.

A Mentorship Coordinator will review your application and match you with a mentor/mentee. You and your mentorship partner will be sent an email of introduction. From there, the two of you can decide the best way to communicate (email, phone, text, etc.) and how this program will work for you.

Expectations

The program is designed intentionally open-ended for participants to design the session according to their own needs and interests.

Applicants to the program are expected:

Thank you for your interest in the BCLA Mentorship Program.

Share, Challenge, Grow!