Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thing 11 - mentoring

Thing 11 - mentoring

This is a really difficult one for me to write about. Have I ever had a mentor? What exactly is the difference between a mentor and a role-model? Is a mentor a necessity? A professional mentor? An informal mentor? A life mentor?

One of the definitions of a mentor that I like is: "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher", and now, having also looked up the meaning of role model "a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people", I can see that I had an informal mentor, but a number of professional role models.

It appears that my informal mentor was also my life coach: "a person who advises clients on how to solve their problems and reach their goals in life", although I was a personal friend, not a client! This was the person who advised me to read "I'm ok, you're ok" and "Games people play" amongst other books, talked to me about any problems I was having, whether they were work or personal, offered advice when needed and was generally always at the end of the 'phone, for the good times and the bad! Sadly, this friend died young in 1998; like the writer of thing 11, I often find myself thinking "what would this person have done or advised me to do" when I have issues and decisions to make.

Role models in the world of librarianship really came from the early days of my career. I mentioned the Site Librarian at Gwent College of Higher Education in my earlier post on thing 10; she was such a wonderful lady, and a good librarian too. Another role model was the District Librarian at Kettering district public libraries. Again, a lovely person and a great librarian. When you are setting out on a career, these early role models can be quite influential, and I hope I have somehow absorbed at least some of the qualities that made them worthy as role models.

As for being a mentor myself; I have never knowingly been one, and can't imagine that I have much to offer someone who is just starting out on a career in librarianship. At my stage of life I am probably a bit too jaded, a bit too set in my ways, and maybe a bit too cynical to be of much use to anyone!

Hmm, this has been a sad blog to write, so I am moving swiftly on to thing 12!

No comments:

Post a Comment