Whole Person Mentoring for All Stages of the Library Career

April Lynn Colosimo, Robin Elizabeth Desmeules, Dawn McKinnon


The newly launched McGill Library Mentoring Program has two defining features: it is inclusive and holistic. It was designed not only to reach archivists and academic library staff at every career stage, but also to encourage them to participate in the program as both mentors and mentees in order to share their unique interests. For example, many new professionals are entering the workforce with coveted skills in information and education technology. While they may benefit from being mentored by their more experienced colleagues, they may also participate in the program as mentors so that others may benefit from their skills and knowledge. The holistic, or whole person approach to the design of the program offers mentoring on a range of topics that move beyond professional development and the promotion and tenure process, into issues of personal development and work-life balance.
This paper describes, in detail, the mentoring program that was developed in less than one year by an ad hoc committee with administrative support. It includes the steps required to participate in the program as a mentee or mentor, training materials, and lessons learned. Grounded in best practices, the design is flexible and sustainable and is transferable to other environments for those that are considering or rethinking mentoring at their own libraries.


mentoring; professional development

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American library Association Texas Digital Library