The benefits of having a mentor ranges from receiving valuable feedback, encouraging you to sharpen or learn new skills, and even praise and support. In this installment from the Mentoring Committee, we will each share a particular moment when having a mentor was impactful to us. How has mentorship strongly affected you? Please feel free to share in the comments section below.
Setting boundaries: This was not a formal mentoring pair. However, this occurred when I received my current supervisor (Tanya) and she helped me learn to set boundaries. Setting boundaries was not something I did or really thought about. I said yes to everything and pushed through whatever that thing was. Tanya really helped me to understand what my job was and how to navigate the nuances involved. This helped me understand what my focus should be and let me understand my role in SCA. I believe this simple understanding enabled me to be a more valuable member of my department, and more focused inside ZSR overall. Sometimes, the simplest thing, that you may not be able to see, can help you become more effective.
When I first started at Wake, Stephanie Bennett was my mentor. At the time I had no idea what to expect from a mentor pairing. Having a mentor turned out to be helpful in guiding me in understanding the culture of Wake Forest, ZSR and surrounding Winston Salem. I’ll forever be grateful to Stephanie for volunteering her time to spend with me during that first year. She talked me off many ledges, often helped me brainstorm goals and solutions to problems while also propping up my confidence when I needed it. Our pairing/relationship really helped me start to feel acclimated at Wake and within ZSR.
My first mentorship experience at ZSR was soon after I arrived at Wake Forest in December 2015. The following Spring 2016 semester, I was paired with Jeff Eller as my mentor. There were distinct contrasts between my previous employment and ZSR, so I was particularly interested in becoming acclimated to the culture of ZSR and how ZSR operates as a whole. It was extremely helpful to have someone to share ideas with on exploring librarianship and identifying methods for development. At the time, Jeff was also a relatively recent arrival to the ZSR library faculty, as part of the Resource Services Team. We discovered that we had many things in common. Sharing his experiences with NCLA, particularly his completion of the NCLA leadership Institute and volunteer experience for the NCLA Conference helped prepare me for my eventual involvement on the Leadership Institute, and later serving on the NCLA Conference planning committee.