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Mentoring Program

The SCLS director mentoring program involves assigning an experienced SCLS library director to mentor a new library director.  New library directors are of course free to seek out their own advisors and mentors—whether within or outside of the SCLS community, or even outside of the field of librarianship. The mentorship program is meant to supplement these informal relationships.

The SCLS Public Library Administration Consultant meets with all new library directors twice within the first few months of their directorship. During one of these meetings she will inform them the name and contact information for their assigned mentor.

Duties of the Mentor: 

Assigned mentors are asked to make a one-year commitment to the mentorship, although in many cases the mentoring relationship may last much longer, even throughout the course of their careers. The only other thing required of the mentor is to contact the new director regularly, and to be open to their questions and requests. Monthly contact is recommended, whether by email, telephone, or in person.

There are no set activities a mentor must undertake. The actual interactions will be determined by the individuals involved, as the relationship develops. The following is a list of just some of the possible actions:

Social activities:

Face to face meetings:

Touch base when you’re doing certain director-type things, to make sure the new director is aware of them, and answer their questions (or refer them somewhere else to get answers).  For example:

Reminders:

Expertise/Support:

The mentor is not expected to know the answers to all of the new director’s questions, but should be able to help refer them to other people and resources for answers.  Here’s a nice list of qualities that make a good mentor, from the Nebraska Library Commission.


If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a new director, please contact Mark Ibach.

For more information about public library management, contact Mark Ibach.