Mentoring Matches and Networking

A great mix of experienced librarians and some super up and coming folks to the field met with Membership Committee Chair Ann Connolly facilitating to discuss mentoring and networking. In response to 2007 data that revealed a strong desire by many new and old librarians for a mentoring and networking program, the NELA Board approved the forming of such of project.

The group that attended the initial discussion group Sunday afternoon was very encouraging.  Following are some points we discussed:

1. It was agreed by the NELA board that the mentoring program would be open to NELA members and non-members.

2. All NELA board members and volunteer mentors will be listed on an upcoming page on the NELA website with name, library, particular fields of expertise (public, academic, etc.) and email so they may be contacted for possible mentoring.

3. Possible up coming program ideas for the next conference: Speed Mentoring (thank you David who will be piloting this for the Connecticut Library Association); Resume help (NELA Conference 2008: see Bertha Chandler at the Drop-In Resume Review at the conference Monday at 3:30); Focus Groups; Informal Networking Luncheon (new at the conference or field-connect with someone you can share the conference experience with).

4. We should look into what other states, even outside of New England are doing for mentoring programs. Everyone involved should be upfront and clear about what they are able to give (example: I am available by email only or I am open to meeting for coffee sometimes).

Todays group was a great start. With the big help of David Bryan, a mentoring page will be joining the NELA website soon and I encourage anyone with suggestions and interest for this program to contact me via the membership committee of NELA. 

Deborah Gadwah-Lambert

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