Mentoring Program

Background

The development of this program was recommended by the Steering  Committee of the University of Delaware Library Assembly of Professional Staff (UDLAPS) in March 1993. The purpose of the program is to help provide professionals with peer counselors and role models to supplement the relationships within reporting lines. Furthermore, the purpose of the mentoring program is to enhance the professional atmosphere within the library, and to encourage all professionals to create and participate in  career enrichment activities. The program is designed to provide mentoring opportunities to meet the diverse needs of the various professionals working in different areas of the University of Delaware  Library.

These guidelines are meant to encourage participation in the program,   providing activities to assist participants in meeting their goals.  Participation in all types of relationships in the program is voluntary  and may be ended by either party for any reason. Though professionals are encouraged to become involved as mentees and mentors, they are not required to use the program. It is hoped, however, that the benefits of mentoring will provide motivation to prospective participants, and that past successes of the program will stimulate continued involvement.   Mentors serve in an advisory capacity only and the establishment of a mentoring relationship should not be seen as a guarantee of advancement or career success for either mentee or mentor.

Types of Mentoring

This program consists of three types of mentoring relationships, each addressing the needs of professionals at particular stages of their careers. There may be some overlap in the activities between each of the mentoring relationship types as best fits each individual situation. It is recognized that each mentoring relationship will be unique. In any type of mentoring relationship, the purpose of the program is to enhance   the relationship between the individual and the Library, so that both   may benefit. Mentors should encourage continued good working relationships between the mentee and the mentee’s supervisor while pursuing their own relationship with the mentee.

Mentors and mentees should decide at the beginning if they wish to apprise their supervisors and colleagues of their relationship. They should inform the Mentoring Program Coordinator of their decision.  Personal information shared by participants should be considered confidential, even if the relationship itself is not confidential.

Orientation: for new professionals or for professionals new to the Library. It includes general peer training and orientation to the Library, the University, and the local area. A checklist of recommended activities may be used for guidance. This type of relationship usually represents a short-term formal relationship with a   recommended content, time limit, and specific goals.

Promotion:  for established librarian professionals with an interest in career advancement and promotion. This type of relationship allows for a focused range of activities and specific requirements for the participants while still allowing a large degree of freedom as to the activities and goals chosen.

Professional: for professionals wishing to explore professional development activities, seek job enrichment, achieve the high skills needed for specialty or administrative positions, or to change their career emphasis. This type can represent a special, highly personal and unstructured relationship that requires strong commitment, or it can be a somewhat formal relationship of more limited duration with activities chosen by the participants in consultation with the Mentoring Program Coordinator.

Mentoring Program Coordinator

The Mentoring Program Coordinator is responsible for the successful administration of the mentoring program and for maintaining required records and archives. The Coordinator is an elected officer of UDLAPS nominated by the UDLAPS Nominations and Elections Committee and elected by the full membership every other year in regular UDLAPS elections. The responsibility of the Mentoring Program Coordinator, according to the UDLAPS Constitution, is to “coordinate the activities of the Mentoring Program in accordance with the UDLAPS Mentoring Program Guidelines and Procedures.” The Coordinator plays a large part in helping to establish mentoring relationships and in evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Specific duties of the Coordinator related to administering the mentoring program are:

  • publicize and promote the program and recruit participants;
  • achieve representation of mentor volunteers from a variety of Library departments and divisions by encouraging interested professionals to participate as mentors as appropriate;
  • maintain list of mentors;
  • attend professional candidates’ interviews/breaks in order to explain the UDLAPS Mentoring Program;
  • attend the Dossier Preparation Workshop to describe the benefits of a mentoring relationship;
  • write e-mails of introduction to new professionals advising that contact will be made shortly after their arrival;
  • match mentees with mentors;
  • present program goals and guidelines to mentors for added assistance;
  • in cooperation with the Assistant Director for Library Administrative Services, plans and revises the checklist for all new professional orientations;
  • resolve problems for/between mentors and mentees;
  • assist participants in formulating goals and developing activities;
  • solicit informal feedback from participants on progress and effectiveness of each relationship and/or the program as a whole;
  • and review and evaluate the program and identify problems.

Specific duties of the Coordinator related to the UDLAPS organization are:

  • coordinate with UDLAPS Steering Committee and appropriate groups to plan programs related to promotion and to encourage attendance by mentors/mentees;
  • attend the UDLAPS Steering Committee meetings and UDLAPS Business meetings regularly as an elected member;
  • report the general successes and needs of the program to the UDLAPS Steering Committee regularly and, periodically, to the entire UDLAPS membership;
  • maintain archives of program documentation;
  • maintain informal list of mentoring relationships established (all personal notes or e-mail about relationships are considered confidential and must be shredded/deleted after the Coordinator’s term ends);
  • maintain and report basic statistics of number and type of mentor/mentee matches, their duration, and indication of general success of the program;
  • recommend necessary changes to the Mentoring Program and Guidelines to the UDLAPS Steering Committee;
  • and provide an overall report to the new Mentoring Program Coordinator and/or UDLAPS Steering Committee at the end of the Mentoring Coordinator’s term to maintain continuity and an archive.

If the Mentoring Coordinator feels that revisions/changes need to be made in the Mentoring Program Guidelines and Procedures:

  • a revision committee is appointed by the Mentoring Coordinator and is comprised of the Mentoring Coordinator, at least one member of a previous revision committee, and other interested UDLAPS members;
  • a draft of the revisions should be sent to the UDLAPS Steering Committee;
  • the final proposed revision and the current version of the document should be presented to membership of UDLAPS for their consideration;
  • and the UDLAPS Membership will vote on proposed changes by secret ballot.