E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship


Date of this Version

Winter 2009

Document Type



Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Winter 2009) 10(3). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v10n03/olivas_a01.html.


Copyright 2009, the authors. Used by permission.



Maintaining healthy mentoring relationships throughout librarians’ careers helps to increase retention rates among minority librarians and promotes diversity in upper-management.


Recruitment of minority librarians has been at the forefront of library literature for decades. However, what happens to those librarians after they graduate from library school and get their first library jobs? Do they stay in the profession for long? Is there a support system to help them maintain the excitement and novelty of their career choice after they’ve been wooed by scholarships and residency programs? This article will discuss the results of a study conducted by librarians new to the field, which indicates that minority librarians who have had constant interactions with mentors, regardless of distance, tend to have better job satisfaction and go on to become mentors and leaders themselves. It also gives a full account of a successful mentoring relationship that is promoting minority leadership in academic libraries.