YALSA's Virtual Mentoring Program

YALSA’s virtual mentoring program pairs an experienced librarian with a new librarian, graduate student in a Library Science program, or library staff member whose primary responsibilities include providing programming, readers' advisory or collection development for young adults. YALSA believes that we all have important skills and knowledge that we can share with one another and so this program also encourages protégés to share their skills and know-how with their mentor.

This is a virtual mentoring program, so there is no requirement to meet face to face. All participants are required to devote 4 hours per month for a continuous 12 month period to the program. This year's program runs from August 2015 - July 2016.

Participants are strongly encouraged to design a project to work on throughout the mentoring year with their mentoring partner. Mentors are required to have 5 or more years of professional library experience.


Program Application Materials

The application period for YALSA’s 2015-2016 Mentoring Program will open on Monday, April 6 and will close on Monday, June 1. All components, including references, for mentor and protege application portfolios will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. Central on Monday, June 1, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions about the program? Please read our FAQ or contact Nicole Gibby-Munguia, Program Officer, Continuing Education at nmunguia@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5293

Q: What is the time commitment for the YALSA mentoring program?

A: All mentors and protégés are asked to participate in online training sessions during the month of August and additional training sessions throughout the mentoring year. All participants are expected to give at least four hours per month to the program.

Q: How long is the program?

A: The mentoring program runs for 12 months, from August 2015 through July 2016.

Q: When does the program begin?

A:  Accepted applicants will be notified in July and mentors and protégés will be matched in August 2015.

Q: How do I communicate with my mentor/protégé?

A:  Once you are matched with your mentor/protégé the two of you will decide how best to communicate with one another.

Q: How does the program work?

A: This is a virtual mentoring program. Participants communicate with each other primarily through phone/email/skype/chat. After being matched with his or her mentor, the protégé will contact the mentor and determine when and how they will communicate.  Mentors and protégés should establish short-term and long-term goals for the year, which meet the learning needs of both the mentor and protégé. YALSA encourages mentors and protégés to identify and collaborate on specific activities to support the learning goals of the mentoring relationship.

YALSA will provide participants with a handbook that includes monthly discussion topics as well as a suggested list of resources that mentors and protégés can use to develop their mentoring goals or jump start their mentoring conversations and activities. In addition, YALSA will provide a space on ALA Connect for mentors and another for protégés.  The space can be used for sharing resources, networking, exchanging ideas and more. YALSA will also host quarterly training sessions for mentors and protégés.  At the conclusion of the program, mentors and protégés will be asked to complete a program evaluation.

Q: Why does YALSA strongly encourage protégés to have a project to work on throughout the mentoring year?

A: YALSA has found that protégés who apply to the program with firm goals and a project in mind have greater success and get more out of their mentoring partnership. YALSA does not assign projects to protégés because everyone’s needs are different. Having a project or goal in mind when entering the program helps give shape and structure to your mentoring relationship.  

Q: How will I be matched up with my partner?

A: A Task Force, appointed by the YALSA president, will review the submitted applications. The task force will match accepted mentor and protégé applicants based on type of library, geographic location, and  areas of interest.