Guidelines for Mentoring Pool

Introduction

ASIS&T European Chapter  maintains a pool of voluntary mentors to support European PhD students and young professionals related to the fields of information science and technology, library science and associated fields of study.  The mentoring pool is thus explicitly open both for academics and professional s working in the industry or public sector. The pool consists of senior and junior researchers, educators and practitioners interested in acting as senior or peer mentors. The mentorship is based on a mutual agreement between the mentor and mentored who are also together responsible for determining its length and scope on an individual basis. The chapter will provide general guidelines for the activity and functions as a hub for establishing contacts between mentors and juniors, but does not participate in the agreements.

Aims

The purpose of the mentorship programme is to provide professional and academic support and contacts for juniors, especially for those having little regular contact to expertise in their specific areas of interest, independent support and advice for junior academics and professionals, and for both seniors and juniors, opportunities to broaden their networks and improve their professional competence.

Accordingto Bozeman &Feeney (2007, Toward a usefultheoryofmentoring: A conceptualanalysis and critique),”mentoring is a process for the informal transmission ofknowledge, social capitaland the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant towork, career, or professionaldevelopment;mentoringentailsinformalcommunication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period oftime, between a person who is perceivedtohavegreater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceivedtohave less (the protégé)”.

Pool of mentors

A designated board member maintains a list of the available mentors who is also the contact person for mentorship queries from the part of the students. A prospective mentor decides how long time he or she will be available as a mentor in the pool. Volunteers should indicate upon application whether they are willing to act as peer mentors or senior mentors.

An advisable time is two years or until the mentor is assigned the number of juniors of his/her preference.

Peer mentoring and senior mentoring

Mentoring pool is open for both senior mentors mentoring juniors and for peer mentoring with two or more juniors acting simultaneously as mentors and mentored to each other. In peer mentoring the mentoring is a mutual enterprise without a hierarchy of experience or knowledge.

Mentoring agreement

Mentoring agreement is made by mentor and mentored on an individual basis. The mentoring agreement does not involve the home organisations of either the mentored or the mentor, or ASIS&T European Chapter. The mentorship programme has different aims, is not related to and does not substitute existing formal academic or professional supervision of students or juniors. It is, however, advisable, that students and young professionals discuss of the mentorship with their supervisors or superiors in advance. The mentorship agreement is informal and based on mutual trust rather than enforced obligations.

The only requirements for the agreement is that the two parties decide the length of the mentoring relationship (preferable 2-3 years, the duration may be extended), the forms of mentoring and communication (and the forms of communication that are not available, e.g. mentor/mentored prefers not to discuss by email or by phone) and that the two parties agree to keep regular contact with each other.It is advisable that mentor and mentored meet formally either face to face or virtually at least twice a year, and communicate by some other means approximately in two additional occasions per year. If possible, face to face meetings are strongly encouraged when possible. Mentors and mentored are also free to initiate any form of cooperation deemed appropriate.

One mentor may have one or more mentored although it is advisable not to assume a mentorship of more than 2-3 juniors.In peermentoring the groupmay be slightlylargeralthoughgroupslargerthan 5-6 peopleare not explicitlyrecommended.