Giving Back and Learning More

Put half a roomful of young librarians together with  half a roomful of more experienced vets and what do you get - an amazing mentoring-protege gestalt!  Our state library association developed a mentoring program to develop the leadership skills of young librarians. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a mentor this year and yesterday I got to meet my new protege (or mentee...or mentos...or, more like, colleague!) along with four other mentor/protege duos.

Jennifer McNaughton, a reference librarian and youth programmer from the Hartland Library, and I will work together over the next three years.  I hope to learn as much from Jennifer as she learns from me.  New eyes, new views; old eyes, old experience.  We are both pretty excited and have already begun hatching plans. It's all good.

I am passionate about the importance of sharing, learning and mentoring. As a young librarian I was so fortunate to have amazing mentors to start me on my way - Avis Jobrack, my first supervisor at my first job; Jane Botham who introduced me to great librarianship on a national level and Ginny Moore Kruse who guided me through the world of children's books. Since then I have had countless other librarian colleagues who have shared, counseled, laughed and taught me -I am a better librarian each and every day because of these good and sharing people.  Not all have been older than me but all have been generous in listening and pearls-of-wisdom dropping.

If you are a young or new librarian, don't hesitate to ask a more seasoned colleague for advice, instruction, navigation or as a sounding board.  There are alot of librarians out there who have been in the front line trenches and know a thing or two.  If you are a more experienced librarian, don't just chat with your time-honored network of peeps.  Get to know new librarians and see what you can learn and share with them.  It is an experience that will reward you every work day of your life!

A huge thanks to the WeLead task force; WLA, WAPL, WAAL, the WLA Foundation and Embry who supports this effort and created a great program!


  1. Anyone who has you for a mentor is in the best possible hands! Thanks for all you have taught me, and I'm glad to see that another lucky librarian will benefit from your wisdom!

  2. Great post Marge! Looking forward to working with you! :-)