Library Articles and Research

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Peer Reviewed


Publication Date



This article offers statistical information about the future of our profession and the role that mentoring may play in retaining and promoting academic librarians into leadership positions within an organization. An overview of the history and definition of the word mentor and current terminology is offered to provide the reader with understanding of the complexity surrounding the concept of mentoring. Mentoring as process is explained, and both formal and informal mentoring processes are discussed and examples provided. The benefits of mentoring are detailed and include the benefits for mentors, mentees, and academic libraries, with a special focus on minorities and generational considerations now prevalent in libraries. Qualitative methodologies are examined to determine relationships, and the methods used include interviews, questionnaires, and print and online surveys. Case studies from across the nation are analyzed and offered as evidence that mentoring does in fact work well in many academic libraries, but librarians should be mindful that these mentoring processes must be evaluated periodically to remain viable. A brief discussion and future considerations section offer helpful information on gaps in the literature and the challenges that academic libraries face as they create and implement mentoring processes in their respective academic organizations.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Library Administration, volume 53, issue 7-8, in 2013, following peer review. DOI: 10.1080/01930826.2013.882195


Taylor & Francis



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