No matter how long we've been in the profession, we all need mentors.
I was lucky, throughout my career, to have experienced librarians take me under their wings in my library jobs, in my state association work and at the national level. Their support helped me navigate alot and taught me a ton.
But I can also say, forty years down my library career path, I have relied - and still rely - on my peers for a tremendous portion of my professional support. Often referred to as PLNs (personal learning networks), our peer mentors can be life and sanity saving. These men and women, from libraries of all types and sizes, were my go-to reality check, my support, my place to dish, to unload, to problem solve, to listen and learn.
Without these peers who shared the same journey I did and were kind counselors and ardent thinkers, I would have been far lonelier and isolated; unconnected and unchallenged in my practice and my perceptions. I've always said I learn at least one new thing everyday, and my peer mentors often led that learning. Our frequent contact (emails, calls, twitter, FB, in person lunches and visits) informed my career and helped me navigate a thousand good and bad experiences.
I am profoundly thankful to all of you who are/were there for me. And I encourage everyone to reach out to link to your peers and share and grow together.
As I commented in Jessica's post: "While all mentors have had a profound and lasting impact on my long career, my peer mentors have saved my bacon (oh, or tofu) time and time again. The support, commiseration, problem-solving, uplift, shoulder to cry on, bold "let's hatch a plan," collaboration and sassytalk have enriched my practice every day in every way!"