December 5, 2019Melanie Schlosser
It’s time to reflect on the pilot year of our new Mentorship Program and to kick off participation for year two! We’ve made some exciting changes for year two – keep reading to learn about our new focus for 2020 (peer mentorship) and how to get involved.
The pilot year: How did it go? (Spoiler: It was great.)
This year, the Library Publishing Coalition Professional Development Committee introduced a new member opportunity: The LPC Mentorship Program. The goals of the program were two-fold. First, the program aimed to orient mentees to the LPC, to enrich mentors’ experiences with the LPC, and build relationships between the two. A secondary goal of the program was to further the development of library publishing through a professional, semi-structured mentorship program.
Activities of the program included a virtual getting-to-know you meeting to kick things off, continuing with monthly calls and email correspondence between mentors and mentees. Participants were provided with a list of suggested questions to help start their mentor/mentee relationship, and were then encouraged to continue the discussions in whatever direction was most desirable for the partners. An in-person meetup also took place at the Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver to provide an opportunity to further strengthen relationships.
The meeting at the Forum took place over the lunch hour on the second day, and proved to be quite fruitful! Not all of the mentor/mentee pairs could attend, but we spent the majority of the time sharing out about our experiences and discussing with other participants about what has worked for them, what they enjoyed most, what suggestions they had for improvement, and networking with others that were participating in the pilot year. After the lunch meeting, all mentors and mentees were sent the list of discussion questions we used at the lunch, and were also encouraged to fill out a mid-year survey to assess the program and provide feedback.
The first cohort is currently wrapping up their participation, and their reception of this program has been positive. Participants of the first pilot year had many good things to share, including the following:
“Things are going well! Really nice to have time and energy dedicated to chatting with a peer who does not have the same institutional context as me.” – Emma Molls, University of Minnesota
“I really enjoyed serving as a mentor during this inaugural year of the LPC Mentorship Program. Benefits included expanding my professional network through forming a strong relationship with my mentee, broadening my expertise through learning about library publishing at his university, and the opportunity to contribute back to this wonderful community. All of these positives resulted from a minimal time commitment of about one hour per month to meet with my mentee, so future program participants can be confident that they will receive an outstanding payoff with nominal effort.” — Jody Bailey, Emory University
“The LPC Mentorship program did a fantastic job pairing me with the best mentor for my individual professional development goals. My mentor and I connected from the get-go and I learned so much from her experiences and advice, and made a real friend. Given how thoughtful and personalized the process, I think that this program is an essential tool in an early-career library publishing professional’s toolkit as they start out!” — Amanda Wentworth, SUNY OER Services
“Being quite new to library publishing, the LPC mentorship program was a fantastic way to get a personal & friendly introduction to the world of library publishing outside of my own institution. It was incredibly helpful to compare & contrast how location, institutional history, funding, and size of operation affects our daily workflows. My mentor was very generous and I got access to some excellent resources to share with my team!” — Emily Zheng, University of Alberta
Interested in being a peer mentor in 2020?
In response to a successful pilot year, the LPC Professional Development Committee will be offering the program again, with one key change. The focus for the 2020 year will be on peer mentor relationships, rather than having specific mentor and mentee roles. We hope to welcome many more members into the 2020 LPC Peer Mentorship Program!
Timeline for 2020 Cycle:
- Applications out now! (Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again about applications in early January! We’ll be accepting applications through Jan. 17.)
- Matching: We’ll match you with your new Peer Mentor by Jan. 24.
- Orientation: Participants will receive a packet of information and resources and will arrange their first meeting with their peer mentor in February.
- Library Publishing Forum: May 4-6, Worcester, Massachusetts
- The LPC Professional Development Committee will host a lunch or meet-up for participants.
- More throughout your time in the program!
- Check-in emails (1 month, 3 months)
- A virtual discussion group (mid-way)
- A Mid-year Check-in (6 months) with survey
- Complete 12-month post-cycle/cohort evaluation with exit survey