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Traditionally, library mentorship programs have focused on orienting new and future librarians to the profession and/or guiding individuals toward promotion and tenure. With declining employee loyalty and the transition of libraries from gatekeepers of information to places of creation and innovation, there is a need for mentoring to focus on retention via the development of leadership skills and confidence building along with employee satisfaction and personal support for new employees.
Additionally, motivation is a key tool to get library staff involved in library science program opportunities which can then be translated into “retention possibilities”. Furthermore, creating an open environment that stimulates opportunities for natural collaborations to occur is essential for developing professionals. The presenters shared their mentor-mentee experience from three distinct roles within the profession. The audience contributed their ideas on the new age of mentorship and the presenters discussed how their mentoring experiences have developed their leadership skills in order to engage in new opportunities and challenges. The presentation discussed different types of mentoring programs including formal and informal and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Additionally, the presentation addressed demographic statistics and how there is a need for mentoring programs to support the growing number of minority librarians entering the profession.
Finally, the presentation shared the results of a survey focused on the benefits and types of mentoring programs available to Florida library employees. The survey results helped to understand what types of mentoring programs exist as a way to analyze the needs of the Florida library community.
Gonzalez, Veronica and Hammill, Sarah J., "Mentoring: Essential 2 formal and informal education" (2017). Works of the FIU Libraries. 66.
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