Are there such things as library mentors?

At present I’m in like with my job, everything is going well and I’m enjoying the work that I have to do. However, I know that a time will come where I would like to move on. But I have no idea how to get from my current position to where I would ultimately like to go. But, I would really like to change that.

So my question is, are there such things as library mentors?

I would really love if I could find someone who could guide me in my career and let me know what I need to do in order to advance in the direction I would like to go.

The obvious choice would be to speak to my manager however, while she has been in the industry for a lengthy amount of time from what I can see her focus is very local and she does not really engage with the wider community like I would like to. Also, in the past people have only stayed in the role short term so I’ve got the impression that if I mention moving on she will think I have itchy feet and become concerned that I am thinking about leaving.

Once this is out, my thinking takes me to LIANZA. Do they have a mentor type programme?

The answer to this is yes and here is a link to it:

I love that they do this. However, my only problem is you need to be professional registered and I have not completed my MLIS so therefore can’t. This I could be wrong about though because as I was filling out the, can I register type questionnaire it told me this:


But to be honest, I don’t know if I want to professionally register yet. I know I do one day but at the moment I’m just dipping my toes in the water with LIANZA. I don’t know if I’m ready for this type of commitment.

So what am I do to?


I think I may just email the person who is in the job I would ultimately like and ask them how they got to be where they are. I don’t know if this is a good idea, if the person will even get back to me or if this is beneficial. But, I’ve got to try because at this point I don’t know the path I need to take.

I would really appreciate your advice, stories and comments about this so either do this below or email us at


3 thoughts on “Are there such things as library mentors?

  1. Are you aware of the ALIA New Graduates group in Australia? While there is no equivalent in New Zealand, the ALIA group is very visible which makes it easy to follow and participate from afar. They are also organising a New Librarians’ Symposium in Sydney at the end of July. If you are able to, I’d highly recommend attending this Symposium as you’ll find lots of other new librarians in similiar situations to yourself sharing their experiences in a very supportive environment.

    Info about ALIA Groups
    Info about the New Librarians’ Symposium


  2. Hey

    It’s great you’re asking this question and highlighting the concept of mentors outside of the Professional Registration scheme. At the last Council meeting we started talking about this and I am hopeful we will be providing more in this area.

    Great blog by the way

    Corin Haines
    LIANZA President.


  3. Hi there, can I suggest you think about applying to be part of the 2016 cohort of LIANZA’s emerging leaders program Kōtuku? I am currently doing the program and it is awesome! one of the requirements of the course is to find a mentor… or 2. I have two mentors, one who helps and advises me with work/career decisions and one who helps me get more involved with library professional associations.
    If you’re wanting a mentor straight away though reach out to someone you think would be really helpful? and maybe let your manager know once you find your mentor, I’m sure they will see it as a very positive move for you and may even allow you time inside of your work hours 🙂 try and find someone who you can talk to easily and also ask about this on twitter – there are tons of librarians on there who I’m sure will help out or have some other knowledge around this topic. But I’d definitely recommend Kōtuku for next year, it really helps you discover yourself and where you are at this point in time and most importantly where you want to go.

    Good luck!


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