SELA Mentoring Program

SELA Mentoring Program

Program Description

Mission Statement

What is a Mentor?

What is a Mentee?

Membership and Mentoring Committee

Time Line

Leadership Conference

Biennial Conference

Required Activities for Mentors and Mentees

Suggested Activities for Mentors

FAQs

Resources: Books, Articles, Websites

Appendix: Forms and Brochures

Frequently Ask Questions

What is mentoring?
  • Listening
  • Volunteering
  • Supporting & Caring
  • Developing
  • Encouraging
  • Partnership

"The concept of mentoring is no longer tailored to tall, hierarchical organizations. Mentoring is now seen as a process whereby mentor and mentee work together to discover and develop the mentee's talents." Mentoring: How to Develop Successful Mentor Behaviors by Gordon F. Shea

What is not mentoring?
  • Spending more time than you have
  • Just advising
  • Criticizing
  • Rescuing
  • A lengthy and exhausting relationship
  • Reserved for experts
  • Hard work
MENTOR:
Why have a SELA Mentor?

Work collaboratively with a professional librarian and learn about the SELA organization, how it functions, and how you can get involved.


Why are mentors so important?

Mentors play a significant role in the lives of developing professionals by serving as a teacher, coach, counselor, and role model. They provide feedback and encouragement, offer professional advice, and help others make the connection between their present performance and their future.


I have never been a mentor before; do you offer any training for me?

As a mentor, you will need to have an understanding of SELA and its committees and an interest in providing guidance to someone who seeks your background as a library professional. If you are interested in learning about SELA and its structure, visit their web site at: http://selaonline.org

Under the Resources section (N) of this handbook you will find a list of books, articles and websites that will help you find out more about mentoring. If you still have questions after reading the material, please contact the Membership and Mentoring Committee Chair. At the Leadership Conference and Biennial Conference, we will provide a workshop orientation for new mentors/mentees.


What if I cannot answer the mentee's questions?

Some questions posed to you by your mentee might not be in your field of interest or within your scope of knowledge. When this situation arises, we encourage you to share this with the mentee and forward their question on to the Membership and Mentoring Chair. Notify the mentee that their question has been forward and that they will be contacted soon after the Membership and Mentoring Chair receives the question.


What if I'm not comfortable with my proposed mentee?
Please tell us! The purpose of your first meeting is to see whether the two of you are compatible - the match won't be finalized until you have both approved it. Tell us frankly if things aren't working the way you had hoped. If you haven't talked directly with your mentee about issues that are causing disagreement, do so. Often, it will be a uestion of miscommunication that can be cleared up through open conversation. The next step is to talk with the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee.

How do I become a mentor?

To become a mentor you need to fill out the Mentor form (PDF) . After your form has been received and evaluated, either the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee, the President, or the President Elect of SELA will contact you.


MENTEE:
What are the starting and ending dates for the Mentoring Program?

You can become part of the Mentoring Program at any time. It is a one-year commitment.*
During the year you are in the Mentoring Program, you will be required to attend either the SELA Biennial Conference (during an even year) or Leadership Conference (during an odd year).


Who can be a SELA mentee?

Any librarian, library science student, or library assistant/support staff/paralibrarian who is a member of SELA


Is there a fee for joining the SELA Mentoring Program?

No, there is no fee to join the SELA Mentoring Program.


How many mentees can be involved in the SELA Mentoring Program?

There is no limit.


How long does a mentee participate in the SELA Mentoring Program?

One year with the possibility of a second year if both the mentee and mentor feel it would be beneficial. You would be required to attend either the SELA Biennial Conference or Leadership Conference.


*If both the mentor and mentee agree, the mentoring program could last up to two years.
Who do I contact for more information on the Mentoring Program?

SELA Administrative Services
P.O. Box 950
Rex , GA 30273
678/466-4325 (Phone)
678/466-4349 (FAX)
Attn: Gordon Baker (gordonbaker@clayton.edu) or Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee

How do I apply for the SELA Mentoring Program?

Complete the Mentee Application form (PDF)

Mail or fax your application form to:
P.O. Box 950
Rex , GA 30273
678/466-4325 (Phone)
678/466-4349 (FAX)
Attn: Gordon Baker (gordonbaker@clayton.edu)

After I apply for the SELA Mentoring Program, who will contact me?

After your application has been received and evaluated, you will be notified by mail and email that you have either been accepted into the SELA Mentoring Program or that your application has been denied. Once a mentor is identified, one who matches your area of librarianship and interests as described by your answers on the mentee's application, s/he will contact you by mail, phone or email. No match between mentor and mentee is complete until both parties agree that they are comfortable with each other.


What will my mentor do for me?

It is up to the mentee to take the initiative and make the SELA Mentoring Program a successful experience. Mentors offer information, support, feedback, contacts, and ideas - but the mentee has to take it from there.


What types of things should I ask my mentor?

The types of questions asked vary and there are no right or wrong questions to ask. When you first meet your mentor, ground rules should be set so that each individual in the relationship is comfortable sharing information. As a general rule of thumb, if you are not comfortable asking a question or sharing certain information, then don't share it. As you develop a relationship with your mentor and the comfort level increases, you will eventually feel comfortable discussing issues that at first might seem inappropriate.


Are mentoring connections confidential?

In order to foster open and honest communication, the mentee must be able to trust the mentor not to disclose their discussions with others. Therefore, communication between the mentee and mentor will be kept confidential.


How many times should I meet with my mentor?

The number of times will vary depending on the needs of the pairs. During the year, you should meet or communicate at least 4-6 times with your mentor. It is up to you on how you do this - face to face, via email, reviewing documents, giving feedback, etc. This is something you and your mentor should agree on at the outset.


Is my mentor available any time day or night?

Your mentor's availability and the best times and methods of getting in touch with him/her are items to discuss during your first meetings. You and your mentor should share your communication styles and specifications to ensure you have the best communication possible and set expectations in that area of your relationship.


Who can I go to if I have questions about the effectiveness of my mentor or the program?

The Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee. The Chair will follow up periodically with both mentors and mentees to inquire how the relationship is progressing.


Are there certain things that I should or shouldn't do as a mentee?

Always be open, honest, and respectful with your mentor, and the relationship and work you are doing together.


If I lost my mentor's email address/phone number/mailing address, how can I obtain that information?

Contact the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee.


What if I'm not comfortable with my proposed mentor?

Please tell us! The purpose of your first meeting is to see whether the two of you are compatible. The match between the mentor and mentee will not be finalized until each person has approved it.

Tell us frankly if things aren't working the way you had hoped. If you haven't already talked directly with your mentor, do so. Often, it is a question of miscommunication that can be cleared up by discussing the issue. The next step is to talk with the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee.


If I have a complaint or a suggestion to improve the Mentoring Program, whom can I contact?

Your comments are very important to us and we appreciate all types of feedback. Please send questions and comments via email to either your mentor or the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee.


SELA Organization
What are the goals of the SELA Mentoring Program?

Work collaboratively with a professional librarian and learn about the SELA organization, how it functions, and how you can get involved.


Goal #1

The Mentoring Program will pair a librarian, currently enrolled library science student, or library assistants/support staff/paralibrarians with an experienced library professional who is a member of SELA.


Objective

The experienced library professional will provide guidance and leadership through modeling and fostering collaboration between a librarian, library science student, or library assistant/support staff/paralibrarians.


Goal #2

The Mentoring Program will pair a librarian, currently enrolled library science student, or library assistants/support staff/paralibrarians with an experienced library professional who is a member of SELA.


Objective #1

The mentor will educate the mentee on how SELA is organized and what the different committees are involved in.


Objective #2

The mentee will gain an understanding of the importance of volunteerism and being involved in a professional organization.


Goal #3

Within 3 months, the mentor and mentee will develop a time-line to accomplish specific professional goals that both agree on.


Goal #4

The mentee will become involved in the leadership of SELA.


Objective #1

The mentee will become involved in a SELA Committee.


Objective #2

The mentee will eventually become a committee chair and run for a leadership office.


Membership and Mentoring Committee
What is the role of the Membership and Mentoring Committee?
  • Recruit mentors.
  • Develop criteria to match mentors and mentees.
  • Evaluate the goals and objectives of the mentor and mentee.
  • Match mentor and mentee.
  • Train new mentors.
  • Write a brief guide designed to help new mentor/mentee understand the mentoring program.
  • Design an application form requesting relevant information in order to help in matching mentor/mentee.
  • At the Leadership Conference and Biennial Conference, provide an orientation for new mentors and mentees.

How will the Program be evaluated?

Each pair will define their own goals in a contract at the beginning of the mentoring year. The mentor and mentee will be responsible for evaluating their progress toward meeting the mentor's/mentee's goals and objectives. The Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee will provide support by checking with the mentor and mentee, and offering resources when they are needed. In addition, the Chair of the Membership and Mentoring Committee will ask the mentor and mentee to evaluate the program to see if it is successful, either after one year or the optional second year of the program.