Comma

Making the most out of mentoring relationships: experiences of new professionals

Comma (2010), 2010, (1), 109–122.

Abstract

For new professionals working in the information sector (which includes archives, galleries, museums and libraries and information management areas within organisations), mentoring relationships can make rich contributions to their learning experiences. There are, however, many different definitions of and perceptions about mentoring relationships. As part of a research study into early or initial professional learning in collecting institutions, a group of 16 information professionals were asked about their understanding and experiences of mentoring relationships. Multiple interpretations of the role of a mentoring relationship and several different types of relationships emerged. This has implications for new information professionals as they navigate new and changed environments and for educators, employers and professional associations who develop mentoring frameworks or schemes. The paper explores the kinds of mentoring relationships that were reflected in the research study and places them in the context of the wider literature on mentoring. The paper provides an opportunity to draw insights into how new professionals experience mentoring and the kinds of environments that encourage and support mentoring relationships, and would be of interest to students, practitioners, educators and professional associations or communities of practice.

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Hoy, Marian