Home » EdTEch: Educational Technology » The Next Generation May Not Want Your Mentoring | Leading From the Library

The Next Generation May Not Want Your Mentoring | Leading From the Library

If you are a librarian and seek a mentor, you can get one. Our profession has no dearth of formal programs, and we even create opportunities that facilitate informal relationships. So far it has worked well, but as millennials enter the library workforce it may present a new challenge for library leaders.

For the generation of librarians that currently hold positions of library leadership, mentoring likely played an important role in their careers and in motivating them to opt for the administrative path. In leadership workshops, in the library literature, and at association meetings, we will often hear our colleagues sing the praises of a particular mentor who helped them develop professionally and played a role in influencing and supporting their career track. We tend to find our mentors in one of two ways, formal or informal. Formal mentoring opportunities are available through the American Library Association (ALA), its divisions, state library associations, regional or local member organizations, and others. For example, when I became a new library director, I joined the College Library Directors program offered through the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). In addition to an educational program, each participant is assigned a mentor. Mentoring programs can effectively serve both new-to-the-profession librarians and those adopting a new leadership challenge. No matter what level of leadership responsibility we’ve acquired in our careers, it is likely a relationship with an experienced colleague—not always a senior one—can help in the pursuit of better leadership. That’s why the popularity of mentoring programs continues. At least for most generations. For millennials, the chain may break. read more…


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