Mentoring Program


The George A. Smathers Libraries are committed to supporting the professional growth of all our employees. Mentoring is a voluntary relationship in which a mentor empowers a protege in an intentional manner. A effective mentoring relationship can help you successfully navigate transitions and achieve goals.

The libraries staff mentoring program provides a flexible framework for staff that would like to leverage the power of a mentoring relationship to achieve a specific professional goal or goals. In this framework, the mentee takes an active role planning meetings, identifying topics for meetings, and following up on any “homework”.

Getting Started:  

Review the mentoring mindset to assess your readiness for mentoring relationship. The mentoring mindset provides insight into what a mentor might expect of a mentee, and the kind of mindset that will allow you to get the most out of a mentoring relationship. Click here to review the Mentoring Mindset guide.

Articulate your reason for seeking a mentoring relationship. What goal or goals do you hope to achieve or make progress towards through guidance from a mentor?  

Identify possible mentors: Meet with your supervisor to discuss possible mentors who have experience relevant to your goal(s). Try to identify 3-4 possible mentors and articulate why you have identified them.  

Connect with potential mentors by setting up a time to talk with each and get to know them. If you do not already have a relationship with your potential mentors, this is an important first step to assess compatibility. If you meet with someone you might not be compatible with, you still managed to practice your networking skills.

Make the ask to your desired mentor. Set up a second meeting with your desired mentor to ask them if they will be your mentor. Share your goal(s) and tell them why you are asking them to be your mentor. If they accept, you can begin formalizing the agreement by filling out a mentoring agreement together.  

Formalize the mentoring relationship with a mentoring agreement. The mentoring agreement is an important document that helps to make assumptions transparent, set mutual expectations, and outline logistics including start and end dates. Click here to download the Libraries’ Staff Mentoring Agreement.

Turn the mentoring agreement in to LHR to facilitate LHR providing targeted resources to mentee-mentor pairs. The libraries training program manger will reach out to all new mentee-mentor pairs to help locating resources specific to the mentees goal(s).  

If you are invited to serve as a mentor, consider and be honest when sharing the following:  

Do you have the time and energy to be responsive and open with a mentee? 

What can you offer in terms of expertise and time? 

What are your boundaries in terms of sharing and receiving personal information, time commitment, and available. Are there other boundaries that are important to you? 

What are your expectations for a mentee? Review the mentoring mindset for guidance on what might be reasonable expectations for a mentee engagement. Click here to review the Mentoring Mindset guide.


Library Training Program – Keep an eye out for Internal Expert sessions on Mentoring as well as a curated selection of trainings to help you make the most of your mentoring relationship(s).

Libraries Mentoring Lib Guide – coming soon!