Skip to Main Content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst Libraries Mentoring Program

Program History

The Mentoring Committee for 2021-2022:

  • Anne Graham chair, 545-1743,
  • Lisa Di Valentino, 545-3009,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • dave mac court, 577-1982,

The document below summarizes the development of the Librarian Mentoring Program and includes the basic goals, organization, guidelines and suggested activities envisioned for the program.

FINAL DRAFT Approved by DOL Jay Schafer 7/21/2008

The University Libraries’ Librarian Mentoring Program


A proposal that the Librarians’ Personnel Committee (LPC) assume responsibility for librarian mentoring in the University Libraries was endorsed by Anne C. Moore and Leslie Button in late January, 2008. Christine Turner and Barbara Morgan met with members of the LPC in April to discuss more specifically how this might work. The following is an outline of how we envision a pilot program and the steps needed to initiate it.

Goals of the Mentoring Program include:

• Sharing skills, experience and expertise

• Developing contacts

• Providing support and guidance on workplace and professional development issues

• Expanding organizational perspectives beyond an individual’s department and/or division

• Enhancing workplace satisfaction and retention

• Facilitating library recruitment

Mentoring Program will be open to:

• Librarians who are new to UMass or the profession;

• Librarians who are seeking guidance at any point in their career, but especially in the year/s prior to eligibility for promotion or sabbatical; and

• Library staff who are exploring a career in librarianship

Organization of the Mentoring Program:

• There will be a trial period of two years during which the LPC will coordinate the Mentoring Program. The Mentoring Program will be administered by a Mentoring Steering Committee (MSC), appointed by the LPC for a 2 year term, consisting of 3 librarians: preferably 1 department head, 1 recent (within 2 years) ex-LPC member and another interested person.

• The MSC will solicit librarians willing to serve as mentors for 1 year. The year will begin with the start of the mentor/mentee relationship. Prospective mentors will fill out a questionnaire that includes relevant information for prospective mentees to review when requesting a mentor.

• The MSC will issue an initial call for individuals wishing to have a mentor. Prospective mentees will identify their goals for a mentor relationship in a questionnaire. The form may provide space to include a choice of 2 or 3 librarians from the list of mentor’s profiles. On the basis of mentee goals and mentor strengths and experience, the MSC will make a match.

• Thereafter the MSC will publicize the program as frequently as deemed appropriate.

• A website/wiki containing information about the program, links to resources, etc. will be created and maintained by the MSC.

Guidelines of the Mentoring Program:

Specific guidelines will be developed by the initial MSC, but a few suggestions based on several mentoring discussions held with librarians follow:

• A mentor will have at least 2 years service in the Library

• A mentor will have no more than 1 mentee at a time

• The formal duration of the mentor/mentee appointment will be 1 year

• Meetings will take place at least once a month

• Meetings between mentor and mentee are considered work time, are recognized as library service and may be included in their respective APRs

• All discussions between mentor and mentee will be confidential.

Suggested Activities of the Mentoring Program:

The mentor’s primary responsibility is to be available to answer questions from and provide feedback to the mentee, as well as to make contact with the mentee at least monthly. Other suggestions include:

• Introducing a new librarian to the library, campus and Five Colleges locations, programs, committees and people

• Helping with the navigation of the library’s organizational culture

• Providing guidance on the annual performance review and promotion

• Assisting in the establishment of contacts for professional development and service in one’s subject/administrative specialty

• Providing guidance on drafting sabbatical proposals and writing sabbatical reports

Mentoring Committee History

The Mentoring Committee for 2021-2022:

  • Anne Graham co-chair, 545-1743,
  • Lisa Di Valentino, 545-3009,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • dave Mac Court, 577-1982,

The Mentoring Committee for 2020-2021:

  • Lisa Di Valentino co-chair, 545-3009,
  • Anne Graham co-chair, 545-1743,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • dave Mac Court, 577-1982,

The Mentoring Committee for 2019-2020:

  • Lisa Di Valentino co-chair, 545-3009,
  • Anne Graham co-chair, 545-1743,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • dave Mac Court, 577-1982,
  • Sarah Hutton, 545-6740,

The Mentoring Committee for 2018-2019:

  • Lisa Di Valentino, chair, 545-3009,
  • Isabel Espinal, 545-6971,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • Steve McGinty,  545-0784,

The Mentoring Committee for 2017-2018:

  • Isabel Espinal, Chair, 545-6971,
  • Kate Freedman, 577-2128,
  • Steve McGinty,  545-0784,

The Mentoring Committee for 2016-2017:

The Mentoring Committee for 2015-2016:

The Mentoring Committee for 2014-2015:

The Mentoring Committee for 2013-2014:

The Mentoring Steering Committee for 2012-May 10, 2014:

The Mentoring Steering Committee for 2010-2012:

The Mentoring Steering Committee for 2008-2010: