Volume 27, Number 3, Fall 2005


Mentoring Moves Forward

by Peggy Rudd, ASCLA Past President and Texas State Librarian

Background

In December 2003, the Ad Hoc Task Force of Mentoring, led by Elizabeth Ridler, submitted its report to the ASCLA Board, with recommendations to establish a Mentoring Committee, develop an online mentor/mentee matching service, and enhance the ASCLA Web site to include mentoring support resources.

In subsequent discussions, the Board decided to expand from a virtual, broad-based mentoring program to a targeted program which would involve the ASCLA Board and Membership Committee more actively and directly in mentoring new ASCLA members.

Thomson Gale offered a generous gift to establish an annual social event at which ASCLA leaders and new members can meet to form and sustain mentoring relationships; develop, print, and distribute a welcome packet of materials to new ASCLA members; and add mentoring support materials and links to reliable mentoring resources to the ASCLA web site.

Purposes

The purposes of the ASCLA mentoring program are to:
  • Develop leaders within ASCLA, ALA, and the profession at large
  • Assist new ASCLA members in gaining the most benefit from their membership and participation in association activities
  • Share expertise with new ASCLA members
  • Provide positive role models for new ASCLA members
  • Increase specialty-area skills in new ASCLA members
  • Enhance careers and expand professional networking opportunities for new ASCLA members

Program Components

Conference social

. At each Annual Conference, the Membership Committee will invite members who have joined ASCLA in the previous year to attend a social event at which they can meet and begin to form mentoring relationships with ASCLA leaders. ASCLA leaders will host tables of five or six new ASCLA members in a low-pressure, relaxed environment where they can ask questions and get to know each other.

Welcome packet

. Each new member will receive a welcome packet, along with a personalized letter from the ASCLA President. The materials in the packet can also be used in targeted recruitment campaigns and when soliciting financial support.

Web site

. A section of the ASCLA web site will be developed as a support resource for mentors and mentees. Carefully monitored and nurtured by the ASCLA Past President and the Membership Committee so it does not become stagnant, the site will include original content as well as links.