Volume 26, Number 2, Summer 2004


ASCLA Mentoring Fact Sheet

Mentor Tips

Getting Started:
  • Contact your mentee and explain who you are. He/she will be expecting your email/call.
  • As a mentor, it is your responsibility to arrange a time convenient to both of you for communication by chat, email, phone or fax.
  • Start with an introduction about yourself: where you work, what you do, your professional interests.
  • Set up a regular time for communication or at least your next virtual or real meeting.
  • Be sure to maintain confidentiality.
  • If you are too busy at work, let your mentee know in advance. Be flexible and proactive.
A Good Mentor:
  • Helps the mentee learn about the library profession and ASCLA’s activities, people and events
  • Encourages and motivates the mentee as a valued colleague who desires new skills
  • Gives specific, constructive, respectful feedback
  • Focuses on helping the mentee to develop individual knowledge and skills
  • Assists in career planning within ASCLA and on the job. Encourages people with disabilities and other underserved groups to enter the library field
  • Helps the mentee develop a network of ASCLA colleagues
  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Sets specific tasks
  • Provides alternative ways to consider issues
  • Helps mentees identify their assumptions
  • Encourages “what if” thinking
  • Provides the ASCLA vision and mission (the big picture for services for underserved populations, for state libraries, for independent consultants)
  • Shares “tried and true” methods used within ASCLA and in the profession
  • Provides a mirror for the mentee to reflect upon past actions or situations
  • Acts as a role model with high standards

Mentee Tips

Getting Started:
  • Provide the mentor with a statement of professional goals and skills you want to improve.
  • If you need help or ideas, ask your mentor.
  • When asking for advice about a problem/question, give as much specific background information as possible. This will assist your mentor to give appropriate advice since they may have a very different work environment
  • If the relation with your mentor does not help you, let the ASCLA Mentoring Committee know. Sometimes matches just don’t work. The committee will assist you to find solutions, either with the same or another mentor.
A Good Mentee:
  • Is open to new ideas
  • Desires personal and professional growth and development
  • Has a positive attitude
  • Is receptive to feedback and coaching
  • Is considerate and recognizes that mentors are librarians who volunteer their time and expertise
  • Keeps information confidential since the mentor may share professionally sensitive knowledge
  • Adapts to fit with the communication styles or time constraints of the mentor
  • Proactively suggests ways to improve learning and communication with the mentor