Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Mentoring: A Tool for Career Development in Academic Libraries

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Mentoring: A Tool for Career Development in Academic Libraries

Article excerpt


Mentoring holds both the great potential for enhancing career success as well as the possibility of contributing to career blunders. Mentoring is focused primarily on the career development of someone less experience in field such as business and academic, (Chopra, Arora and Saint 2018). It is therefore characterized by the relationship between a more knowledgeable individual and a less experience individual. When there is a good mentoring relationship it will bring about career development and advancement within academic libraries.

Mentoring would encompass a variety of activities, including advising, teaching, coaching, advocacy, sponsoring and role modeling as well as assistance with personal development and achieving a work life balance, (Geraci and Thypen 2017). In every career training, guidance and advice are integral part of professional and career development. Mentoring is one of the most effective strategies that is a standalone programme as part of an existing work force development programme.

Career development is characterized as a continuous process which is developed throughout an individual life. (Zanpantis et al 2017). It is therefore necessary for new intakes to receive mentoring in order to successfully cope with new challenges through career development. The transmission of knowledge between mentors and mentees, can be through both formal programme and informal relationship, which can foster the growth of staff to meet with current trends in librarianship. According to Sodipe and Madukoma (2013) formal and informal mentoring is one on one relationship where selection is dependent on personal choice of mentor or the mentee. It happens spontaneously based on mutual respect and rapport. Sometimes organization offer employees the opportunity to learn from another employee through the formal mentoring programme. Also employees choose their own mentor to counsel them and guide their career development process which creates an informal mentoring relationship.

Promoters and career success are related to mentoring. It helps individuals develop through a goal driven process in academic libraries. Mentors should ensure that they guide their mentees set and achieve their career goals in order to achieve career success. This motivates the mentee to achieve higher heights in the workforce. Several literature has documented the benefits of mentorship, which include increased research productivity, faster academic promotion and career satisfaction (Tjan 2017). In the process of mentoring the mentee learns lessons that she/he can apply on their job in order to achieve career success. It is an experience that can lead to an emotion, which leads to self-transformation and development for both the mentor and the mentee (Allen and Eby 2011).

The relationship between a mentor and mentee influences skills development for the mentees. For a new librarian, professional training begins from the moment he steps into the profession (Nsala 2013). The professional training will help build the librarian's depths of knowledge required overtime. Mentoring relationships play vital role in professional development. Nwabueze and Ozioko (2013), observed that no institution can exist without order and more experienced members passing on knowledge acquired over years to new members. Mentoring in academic libraries have been described as a viable vehicle for effective management of employees capabilities time and talent, as well as a tool for grooming new and junior employees for future leadership roles. (Ogunrewo and Ngema 2013). Academic libraries should have mentoring programmes to help meet the developmental needs of staff.

Mentorship in the research arena entails meeting regularly with mentees to provide assistance with activities including grant funding and publishing in high impact Journals (Byington and Keenan 2017). According to Gray and Garvey(2016) mentoring promote greater self- awareness and more informed in decision making and solution. …

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