Law, College of


Date of this Version



“Reflections on the Art of Mentoring,” 14:3 Trends in Law Library Management and Technology (2004).


I know that there are probably many articles on the subject of mentoring. Many of these articles have been written by colleagues, or recognized experts in the field of management. However, I have not read these articles and in advance I apologize for not reading them all or using them as references in the following essay. I come from a school of thought about management that believes that good managers are not made. They are born. This is not to say that we can't learn things about management. The fact is, we learn a great deal from others when we hear stories about what works and what doesn't. With this essay, I am not trying to make a scholarly contribution to the field of management. This is merely my own reflection on the art of mentoring. ...

In the end, mentoring in the workplace is simply being a good manager. Be interested in your staff and listen to their needs and ideas. Be bold and let them try out some of their ideas-even if you don't like them. If you are the boss, don't feel threatened by the successes of your staff members. Become their biggest cheerleader. Communicate with your staff and find out what tools they need and help them get equipped to do their jobs with excellence. By.doing so, we facilitate the professional growth of our staff members and colleagues. We are mentoring them. We also are contributing to their job satisfaction that only enhances the quality of library services that we can offer. This sort of mentoring is not an optional activity; it is an essential part of our jobs.