SCONUL Mentoring

About the scheme

SCONUL's mentoring scheme is designed to support academic library leaders in their professional and personal growth by facilitating mentoring relationships with more experienced colleagues.

The scheme intended to support emerging or newly-appointed leaders (senior library staff in deputy director or second tier equivalent positions at member institutions) or those recently appointed to their first director level post although it is also open to more experienced leaders, as leadership learning and development are lifelong processes.

Both partners in the mentoring relationship will learn and gain from the experience, and this in turn will sustain a continuous learning cycle within SCONUL and build leadership capacity across the sector.

For information on finding a mentor, please click here

For information on becoming a mentor, please click here

For a full description of the working of the scheme, please click here

For information regarding the matching process and the SCONUL Mentoring Oversight Group, please click here

About mentoring

Mentoring has been defined by SCONUL as ''a professional relationship in which an experienced person (mentor) assists another person (mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the mentee's professional and personal growth. It is an effective way of helping people to progress in their chosen career, and is a helpful relationship based upon trust and respect''.

There are different definitions of both mentoring and coaching. Both involve a one-to-one client-focused relationship where an individual client seeks help from another person to help them move forward, make sense of a situation, set goals, overcome challenges, etc. Mentoring has more focus on professional development, whereas coaching may also encompass more personal and life related issues. Typically a mentor will be someone from a similar background but with more experience than the mentee, whereas a coach may come from a different background but use specific skills and techniques to help the client move forward.  A mentor may be more likely to offer guidance and share experience, whereas a coach is more likely to hold back from doing this and seek to enable the client to find their own answers.