Bartlett, Jennifer A.  “Paying it Forward, Giving It Back: The Dynamics of Mentoring.”  Library Leadership & Management  27, no. 4 (2013): 1-6. 

A brief discussion of the dynamics and importance of mentoring, with some emphasis on succession planning by library managers. Concludes with a bibliography citing several works on mentoring and providing short assessments. 

Bollard, Susan D.  “Mentoring in the 21st Century.”  Knowledge Quest 41, no. 4 (March/April 2013): 4-5.

The author, president of the American Association of School Librarians, offers insights on mentoring in the 21st century. Discusses the traditional top-down model of experienced librarians mentoring new teachers, but also lateral and bottom-up mentoring, with new librarians sharing teaching skills about inquiry learning, integrating technology with the curriculum, the use of digital resources, and dealing with inquiry in the digital age.  Also addresses the needs of a single librarian in an organization and how one might obtain mentoring via conferences, workshops, seminars, blogs, wikis, webinars, and other social and collaboration tools.  (Abstract)

 Carle, Daria O., Christie Ericson, and Kristi D. Powell.  “Un-mentoring in the Last Frontier.” College and Research Libraries 74, no. 1 (January 2013): 10-13.

This article presents three perspectives of FLIP: Future Library and Information Science People, a discussion group developed by the University of Alaska at Anchorage in 2005 to benefit both currently employed librarians and students entering the information field. According to a newly graduated student who is currently employed in the library, FLIP allowed her to meet library and information science students. A recently hired librarian mentions how the program gave her confidence to increase her involvement in the library profession. An experienced librarian states how FLIP keep her updated with current issues in librarianship.  The program is particularly valuable in a region where there is no library school, and a few diverse libraries.

 Eggett, Colleen B.  “Trading Spaces Mentoring Program: The Melding of Talent and Opportunity.  Public Library Quarterly 31, no. 2 (2012): 153-158.

Describes a mentoring program for all of Utah's library workers and offers best practices for running a library program. The online edition of the journal includes a supplemental form: application to receive mentoring.

 Fyn, Amy F.  “Peer Group Mentoring Relationships and the Role of Narrative.” Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39, no. 4 (July 2013): 330-334.  DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2012.11.016

Following a discussion of the history of mentoring and various approaches to the topic, the author focuses on personal and collective narrative as form of mentoring that has not been studied, and the use of narrative in group settings.  A case study examines a writing and research support group for untenured library employees at Bowling Green State University.  A well-referenced and persuasive article, with recommendations for improvements to mentoring programs for new academic librarians seeking to build their tenure portfolios, but which could apply to other settings as well.

 Harrington, Marni R., and Elizabeth Marshall.  “Analyses of Mentoring Expectations, Activities and Support in Canadian Academic Libraries.” College & Research Libraries Pre-Print. Accepted: July 15, 2013; Anticipated Publication Date: November 1, 2014. Link to Full Text (PDF):

Compares and contrasts informal and formal mentoring programs, then focuses on current programs in Canadian academic libraries, as well as specific characteristics of and attitudes toward mentoring.  The implications of this research may apply more broadly.  Provides a literature review, and includes topics such as new librarians, retention of staff, leadership, professional development, limitations of mentoring, and the need for administrative support.

 Keener, Molly, Vicki Johnson, and Bobbie L. Collins.  “In-House Collaborative Mentoring: Programs that Capitalize on Campus Community Strengths.”  C&RL News, 73, no. 3 (March 2012): 134-136, 146.

Discusses a formal mentoring program at Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University, that began in 2009. The program incorporates several mentoring styles: one-on-one; pairs for specific topics, collaborative peer-mentoring, forums, and panel presentations focusing on acquiring professional development skills for the promotion and tenure process.  Provides recommendations for launching collaborative mentoring programs. Many of these activities were accomplished without a specific budget, by making use of staff expertise across the library.

 Ladenson, Sharon, Diane Mayers, and Colleen Hyslop.  Socializing New Hires. (SPEC Kit 323) Washtngton: Association of Research Libraries, 2011.  Available at

This SPEC Kit concentrates on orientation, training and mentoring programs internal to the organization, and also offers a useful bibliography with references to readings on organizational culture and socialization.

Lee, Marta K. Mentoring in the Library: Building for the Future. Chicago: ALA, 2010.  122 p.  

A thorough discussion of mentoring programs and relationships, including those between librarian and student as well as between library staff, stressing the importance of mentoring relationships throughout one’s career.  Chapters cover internships, library school assignments, potential librarians, volunteers, electronic mentoring, resume review services, “Developing the New Librarian in the Workplace,” and “Mentoring for Promotion.” Includes case studies, mentoring experiences of high quality, lessons learned, and how to get started as a mentor. Exhibits a bias towards academic libraries, but includes some information about programs in public and special libraries.  Appendices include sample forms and descriptions of activities.  Concludes with an extensive bibliography and index. 

Lorenzetti, Diane L., and Susan E. Powelson. “A Scoping Review of Mentoring Programs for Academic Librarians.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 2 (March 2015): 186-196.

The authors conducted a review of existing literature about 40 unique academic library mentoring programs. The article examines current trends in program design, participation, mentor/mentee selection, goals and objectives, program guidelines and agreements, timelines, training and support, incentives, evaluation methods and results, and outcome and process evaluations.

Medical Library Association. “Mentoring Resources.” Available at  Accessed February 6, 2014.

A lengthy bibliography of books, articles, and web resources on mentoring.  Publication dates range from 2001-2012.  Last updated June 2012.

 Mavrinac, Mary Ann, and Kim Stymest. Pay It Forward: Mentoring New Information Professionals.  Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2012. 58 p.

A short, practical guide to mentoring that helps readers to begin relationship with reasonable planning and effort. Includes the perspectives of both mentor and mentee and the benefits to librarians and the profession.  Twelve concise chapters each contain at least one exercise and short activities that focus on self-discovery or self-awareness.  Best for launching and nurturing the relationship. Appendix includes a “Leadership Focuser” form that helps participants reflect on goals, outcomes and exercises.

 EDUCAUSE. “Mentoring.” Available at  Accessed February 5, 2014.

A special topic in the career development section of the EDUCAUSE website, with the following definition: “Mentoring is just-in-time help, insight into issues, and the sharing of expertise, values, skills, and perspectives. Mentors function as a catalyst—an agent that provokes a reaction that might not otherwise have taken place or speeds up a reaction that might have taken place in the future.”  Sections include Welcome, About Mentoring, For the Mentor, For the Mentee.  The “About” covers mentoring style, types of mentoring functions, phases of relationships, resources and community.  Also presents a podcast on “Mentoring as a Professional Development Tool.”

 Robbeloth, Hilary, Alice Eng, and Stephanie Weiss.  “Disconnect Between Literature and Libraries.  The Availability of Mentoring Programs for Academic Librarians.”  Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table 4, no. 1 (March 2013): 1-19.

A study to determine the likelihood that a recent graduate entering his or her first professional position or a transitioning librarian would have access to formal mentoring programs. The authors surveyed academic libraries, library residency programs, library associations, and LIS graduate programs. The study suggests that, while formal mentoring is valuable, more emphasis needs to be focused on creating formal mentoring programs to make them more widely available.  Notes that “Part of the problem is in the ambiguity of the term. Mentoring is sometimes confused with job orientations such as providing new employees with basic directional information, but guidance should support the mentee’s career (p. 12).” Includes a literature review and discussions of the downsides of mentoring programs (as well as benefits) and types of mentoring programs.  Concludes with a good list of references.

Ross, Kevin M. “Purposeful Mentoring in Academic Libraries.” Journal of Library Administration 53, no. 7/8 (November 2013): 412-428.

The author provides an overview of the history of mentoring and explains the mentoring process in academic libraries, providing examples acquired through interviews, questionnaires, and surveys. He thoroughly discusses the benefits of mentoring for mentors, mentees, and academic libraries, with a focus on mentoring minorities, Generation X, and Millennials. The article concludes with a consideration of the challenges faced when creating and implementing mentoring programs, as well as a reminder that these programs must be evaluated periodically in order to remain effective.

Smallwood, Carol, and Rebecca Tolley-Stokes. Mentoring in Librarianship: Essays on Working with Adults and Students to Further the Profession.  Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2012.  222 p.

A collection of 29 papers by 34 contributors that provides a thorough explanation of mentoring.  Grouped according to four broad headings: Philosophical Questions & Practical Applications, Mentoring [non-LIS] Students, Mentoring Students in Library School, and Mentoring Librarians. Essays include “Steps Involved in Being a Mentor,” “The Art of Mentoring across Disciplines,” “Creating a Structured Program to Help Staff Earn their MLIS,” “Mentoring at a Distance,” and “Mentoring a New Distance Education Librarian.”  A valuable, practical resource; makes the case for more formal provision of mentoring, but also exposes different attitudes towards the subject, with devotees of both highly-structured programs and more organic, individualized relationships.  Most concur on basic principles such as setting a time limit, deciding to meet periodically, agreeing on a few goals. Good for both students and practitioners.


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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.