Dawn Marie Lowe-Wincensten, ed

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Book Chapter/Section

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Publication Title

Beyond Mentoring: a Guide for Librarians and Information Professionals



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Naturally, libraries want their new librarians to succeed, and recognize that high quality mentoring will help accomplish that goal. However, ensuring mentoring for new librarians, whether they are in faculty positions or not, is harder than it sounds. Many envision a traditional one-on-one mentor- ing relationship, and when such relationships grow organically out of pre- existing positive professional relationships they can be very rewarding for both mentor and protégé. Nevertheless, relying on these relationships to develop organically carries with it natural inequities in access to mentoring for new librarians who have not had the good fortune to meet and bond with a senior colleague. As conceptions of mentoring shift toward build- ing professional networks rather than a teacher/student dynamic, structured group mentoring can address some of the inherent weaknesses of tradi- tional informal mentoring structures. In response to internal assessments highlighting the need for an equitable, scalable approach to mentoring, the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) developed a structured group mentoring program for librarians of all ranks.