Gangplank or Bridge: Providing New Librarians Pathways to Success

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Objective: To describe the process of mentoring a new medical librarian from the perspective of both the mentor and the mentee.

Methods: This program is a descriptive qualitative analysis detailing techniques used in the mentoring process. Techniques used by the mentor in the mentoring process were creating a library journal club and library grand rounds for mentee; creating opportunities for leadership in professional groups for mentee and opportunities for presentation at professional conferences for mentee, providing opportunities for skill development for mentee by exposure to the Famly Physicians Inquiry Network (FPIN) librarian process and clinical library responsibilities, and providing a highly personalistic and humanistic approach to developing the mentee by having an open door policy and engaging in frequent refl ection with the mentee.

Results: Mentoring is a rewarding experience for both mentor and mentee. In this case study, the mentee’s career was enhanced by being published, leading professional library groups, developing expert searching skills, and greatly accelerating access to new knowledge within the fi rst year of the mentee’s professional career.

Conclusion: The mentoring process is a necessity for the development of next generation librarians. Successful mentoring involves a high level of commitment by both the mentor and the mentee, therefore perhaps institutionalized mentoring programs do not often succeed because they lack this depth.


Chicago, IL

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