Join the FIMS Professional Mentorship Program

I'm pretty much the perfect example of the value of the Professional Mentorship program at FIMS.  I participated in it all three semesters I was there.  I had a great mentor in my first term and an okay one in my second.  But it was the third that made it really pay off.  When I sent in my application to join in my final semester, I asked if they were able to match me with someone in western Canada and preferably Saskatchewan (my other two mentors were Ontario-based which was fine but didn't help a lot in terms of my networking – and have I ever mentioned how much I hate that word?  Netsocialing it is then.) 

They paired me with a rural librarian working in Weyburn Saskatchewan who I'd heard of but had never met in person.  The mentorship went well but the big pay-off was when I got back to Saskatchewan and we exchanged some e-mails.  I mentioned that I was still looking for work and he said I should apply at his system, Southeast Regional Library “because you never know what will happen.” 

I'd been focusing my search on Regina up to this point but it was the system I'd grown up with, it was based where my in-laws lived and something in his voice said this was more than just idle chatter.  A little while later, I got called by the SRL Library Director, a few days later I met them for an interview where they revealed that my mentor was taking an 18-month leave of absence.  One thing leads to another and here I am, not quite six months later, sitting in Weyburn and heading down to SRL HQ every morning!

So anyhow, long story short (too late!), I highly recommend that you participate in the UWO CLA Student Chapter's Mentorship Project – whether you're reading this as a student or a grad.  This term, it's particularly important as FIMS is taking in a one-time only (yeah, we'll see about that?  (Where's my emoticon of a happy face with dollar signs for eyes?)) triple cohort which means there will be 120 new students looking for the kind of advice and guidance that only comes from a working librarian who's been through the grind that is FIMS.

Here are the details about how the program works, straight from the hard-working coordinator, Erin F (the e-mail for the program is at the bottom of this post if you want an application or more details):


CLA- UWO Student Chapter:
Mentorship Program Charter

 

Information about the Mentorship Program

  • The
    Mentorship Program’s goal is to connect Library and Information Science
    students with library or information professionals.
  • The
    key characteristics of the program are facilitating knowledge exchange and
    providing guidance to current students entering the profession.

 

Who can be
a Mentor?

  • Librarians
    or Information Professionals who would like to provide support and
    coaching for an interested student.
  • Librarians
    or Information Professionals with an interest in contributing to the
    education of a future professional.

 

Who can be
a Mentee?

  • UWO
    MLIS students who would like advice and guidance about library and
    information careers from professionals in the field.
  • UWO MLIS
    students who are interested in making professional connections in the
    library and information science workforce.

 

Mentoring
Relationship Guidelines

  • Communication
    between mentor and mentee should occur at least twice per term
  • The
    mentor should try to respond to the mentee within two weeks.
  • The
    mode of communication is at the discretion of the participants but several
    effective methods include emails, phone calls, and lunch or coffee
    meetings.
  • Suggested
    discussion topics and activities include:
  • resume
    review
  • course
    recommendations
  • industry
    overviews
  • professional
    trends
  • current
    issues
  • job
    shadowing
  • library
    tours
  • attending
    conferences
  • introductions
    to other professionals in the field.

Should either party have any concern about the mentoring
relationship, the administrators are available for advice.
Students who take part in the Mentorship Program should
consider returning to the program as a Mentor.

For more information about the program please contact Erin
Fields at westernmentorship@gmail.com

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