WANTED: A Mentor

I’ve been giving lots of thought lately to mentorship and the mentor relationship. We discussed it quite a bit during Emerging Leaders, and I had the pleasure of talking with a former mentor at the ALA conference. Additionally, I’m seeing a group of librarians soon from Salem Public Library in Oregon (another short vacay…to the other side of the country…again), and these three women can take sole credit for me being a children’s librarian, thus rescuing me from the clutches of academic librarianship. Lastly, when I started here at QL, I was “assigned” a mentor which, initially, I wasn’t crazy about. I mean, I don’t believe a mentor can really be “assigned”. Nevertheless, the relationship has turned out to be a beneficial one and, for that, I’m immensely relieved.

All that said, I’m in the market for an additional mentor. At ALA, I had the pleasure of meeting a librarian from Connecticut and I felt like we really hit it off. Her mentor, who is a seasoned Brooklyn Public librarian, was also there. The CT librarian, Gee (name shortened to protect identity, just in case she doesn’t want to be mentioned here), is trying some really innovative and creative stuff at her library, being the young whippersnapper that she is. As her mentor was leaving the event, she leaned over to Gee and said, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” And then they hugged and kissed on the cheek. I actually found myself envious of that sort of relationship. THAT is the kind of mentor I’m longing for. But how to find it? Sitting in my cubicle working in a department without a single children’s (or even young adult) librarian?

So here’s my advert:

WANTED: Mentor for young(ish) children’s materials selector. Must be a “Yes!” person who still has passion for children, libraries, and books. Must work on not only a professional level but a personal level. Must ask “why not?” rather than “why?” Someone who thinks the “generation gap” issue is silly and someone who loves quality food a bonus. Age not important, though over-40 is a plus. Children’s materials selector is energetic, passionate, and quick to laugh. Not naïve, but hopeful and optimistic. Has lots of ideas but often needs guidance with the details. Genuinely enthusiastic about her job and books. Doesn’t need mentor to be a friend but still needs to relate on a personal level. Interested? Respond today – we’re not getting any younger!

Eat, drink, preferably with a mentor

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