by Brandi Hartsell
TASL is launching a new initiative this year: the TASL Mentors Program. The program is designed to give new librarians and/or school librarian students an experienced school librarian mentor. Current TASL members will also have the opportunity to serve as a mentor for less experienced school librarians. The program coordinators will accept requests on a rolling basis, but will do a big push for sign-ups at the beginning of each school year and calendar year.
Anyone can be a mentor, as long as you feel comfortable sharing your knowledge and time with a colleague to help them grow! The program coordinators are asking lots of questions about you and your experience in the field – but that’s just so they can get a good feel for who will benefit from working with you.
Anyone can request a mentor – current library students who want to learn more about the profession, new or early-career librarians who want to have a contact person who can help them as they learn and grow, or established librarians who are simply looking to grow in certain areas. There’s plenty of room on the form to share what you’d like to get from the experience!
Past-president Jennifer Sharp is leading this initiative and explains it this way, “My vision is that when we get a new mentee form submission, we can look at the database and pick someone who fits what they are looking for (and vice versa) in as many ways/categories as possible! We purposely asked a LOT of questions on the form in hopes that we would be able to match people pretty well. Hopefully, we have enough people to choose from where that is doable. I hope that new librarians (or even just people who are struggling in certain areas) will use this as a platform to connect with other librarians and reach out for support.”