Join two college library directors who were paired together in the College Library Director Mentoring Program (CLDMP) for a conversation about their experiences over the course of the mentoring year. Enter a discussion about how a mentoring partnership can create space for critical reflective practice, and how these relationships might benefit staff at any experience or work level in the library.
libraries, mentoring, leadership
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Who Mentored Whom?: A Conversation About Leadership
Library leaders are grappling with changes in the role of libraries on our campuses, the identities and work of our library faculty and staff, and our responsibilities as voices in the senior leadership of our campuses. We occupy a unique role at the institution, yet we must also respond to enrollment instability, resource costs and budgets, student success, and facility use and planning. For library leaders, developing a campus-based support network can be difficult. Though we are engaged in finding solutions to the same challenges as our colleagues in other departments, we often encounter them from a different angle.
Within this context, we must look beyond the walls of our institutions to find partners, collaborators, and mentors. Enter the mentor-mentee relationship. While most mentor programs are created within a library or institution, pairing library faculty or staff from different libraries has significant value. This is particularly true for small college libraries. Furthermore, in order to establish our identities and reaffirm our role as educators on our campuses, in order to reconcile this shift, it is essential that we find a partner with whom we can communicate openly. Join two college library directors who were paired together in the College Library Director Mentoring Program (CLDMP) for a conversation about their experiences over the course of the mentoring year.
There is a rich body of library literature about the value of mentoring, and there are many examples of mentoring programs at academic libraries. The CLDMP has paired college library directors for 24 years, offering mentors and mentees the opportunity to learn and grow together. We are both directors at public institutions in Vermont and New Hampshire, and over the year we shared regular phone calls and exchanged two site visits which provided time and space for questions, advice, and sharing ideas. After the mentor program year ended we agreed to continue our regular communication.
This session will begin with an informal interview-style conversation where we will discuss what we expected from the relationship, what we learned, and the benefits of working together in this capacity. We will encourage participants to think about how a mentoring partnership can create space for critical reflective practice, and how these relationships might benefit staff at any experience or work level in the library. Considering mentoring relationships across institutions has specific benefits. The presentation will include a conversation between the two directors and time for audience participants to exchange thoughts and ideas.