What is the OLS - North Mentorship Program?

This program is aimed at providing opportunities to increase the knowledge and skills of new librarians in Northern Ontario. The program pairs an experienced librarian (the mentor) with a new librarian (the mentee) with the aim of building strong northern public libraries.

The goals are to: 

  • Facilitate sharing of professional information and advice on a more personal level
  • Develop trusting professional relationships among librarians
  • Develop the leadership skills of librarians 

The OLS  -North Mentorship Program launches at the annual conference and runs through to the following year. The New Librarians’ Meet and Greet conference event will offer opportunity to meet and talk about the program. Applicants will be matched by OLS - North prior to this event. It is recommended that the mentor and mentee agree upon a one year time frame for the mentoring relationship. Upon completion of a rewarding year, librarians will be recognized at the following year’s annual conference.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to participate!  

This program is limited to librarians in northern Ontario

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is an experienced librarian who willingly provides useful and professional advice and guidance to a new librarian.

Mentors are not expected to know all the answers. A good mentor knows how to direct the mentee for further information about a topic, e.g., the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for interpretation of the Act. Mentors are not to provide legal advice or opinions.

A mentor is expected to:

  • Help the mentee develop confidence in fulfilling the requirements of librarian in a northern public library
  • Honestly and objectively provide information and advice
  • Maintain a high level of confidence and trust to safeguard information gathered from the mentee
  • Encourage participation in OLS-North activities, events, and Networking Committees

Participants are asked to commit at least one full year to the program, be willing to communicate with the mentee at least twice per month, and contact OLS-North if problems arise. Upon completion of the year, mentors will be asked to complete a Mentor Evaluation form.

How mentors benefit from the program? Participants may expect to:

  • Increase job satisfaction by helping new librarians in Northern Ontario to grow professionally
  • Strengthen problem-solving, listening and leadership skills
  • Develop communication and teaching skills
  • Contribute to the success of the next generation of librarians
  • Increase your library’s visibility and value to the library community

Experienced librarians interested in participating in this program are encouraged to complete the program application form here.

What is a Mentee?

A mentee is a librarian who has started in his/her position as library CEO or a senior management position at the library within the past two years.

Participants are asked to:

  • Commit at least one full year to the program
  • Be willing to communicate with the mentor at least twice per month
  • Be willing to commit the time and effort to benefit from the relationship
  • Complete a Mentee Evaluation form upon completion of the program.

To get the most from this program, the mentee:

  • Is willing to examine and discuss personal and professional strengths and weaknesses
  • Takes initiative and seeks advice from mentor when needed
  • Takes an interest in and listens openly to the mentor’s advice or feedback
  • Maintains a high level of confidence and trust to safeguard information gathered from the mentor

What benefits may new librarians expect from this program? You may expect to:

  • Strengthen library skills
  • Strengthen problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Develop confidence in relating to the library board and staff
  • Develop confidence in relating to municipal staff and community organizations
  • Meet colleagues with varied skills and experiences
  • Learn more about the mentoring process and prepare to become a future mentor

OLS - North staff is available for guidance throughout the year.

New librarians interested in participating in this program are encouraged to complete the program application form here.

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