Let’s get you out there: mentoring as a tool for professional development

AALTO, Anni and BANG, Maria and KANGAS, Pirjo and LAAKSO, Jarno and VIERI, Siina (2018) Let’s get you out there: mentoring as a tool for professional development. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 229 - Management of Library Associations, Education and Training, and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2279
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Let’s get you out there: mentoring as a tool for professional development

The paper presenting our lightning talk explores the efficiency of the Finnish Library Association (FLA) mentoring program in providing professional development opportunities for library professionals. This paper discusses the benefits for the participants, how the goals of the program were met and the best practices for future programs discovered. In order to improve communication and professional growth, the FLA decided to offer its first mentoring program. The theme international collaboration set a functional frame for the program. The aims for the mentoring program were: 1. To define the demand for this type of a program. 2. To explore the reasonability of the theme-based working approach. 3. To lay the foundation for future programs. The program was presented in a FLA member newsletter, the application process was carried out online and the mentor pairs were decided based on the applications. The participants of the program identified key factors required for successful mentoring. It was considered essential to have well-functioning mentor-actor pairs. In general, the interaction between the mentor and the actor should be based on trust and openness. A good mentoring program also demands a competent facilitator and rules based on mutual understanding. It was also considered important to have a theme for the program. The participants found it useful to have meetings in various formats: online and face-to-face, two by two and occasionally in a bigger group. The feedback from the participants will be used when planning the next mentoring program. The FLA mentoring program familiarized the participants with the theme of the program, and brought new ideas on how to share information about international opportunities even within the larger professional community. The mentor pairs’ work was based on mutual learning. To make the program results a wider audience, the participants will write a guide focusing on international collaboration opportunities for Finnish librarians.

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