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Insider Article [May 2013] [05/07/13] (CLA’s Mentoring Program)
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 CLA’s Mentoring Program

Advance your career and network with colleagues!

Would you like help developing your career? Do you have professional advice and experiences that you would like to share with others? Would you like to connect with colleagues locally or in other parts of the state? Then the CLA Mentoring Program is for you!

CLA is looking for interested and enthusiastic CLA members to become mentors and mentees. We encourage library staff at all stages of their careers to join the program, and we encourage students and new professionals to participate as both mentees and as mentors, to bring their knowledge of cutting edge practices and technologies to more experienced colleagues.

Betty Waznis and Cathy Crosthwaite have developed a rewarding relationship thanks to CLA’s Mentoring Program. They have met twice, in-person, at the CLA conference, and they check in by email during the year. Since they met, Cathy has been promoted twice, changed organizations, and become a successful new professional, and Betty has provided advice and guidance along the way.

Cathy Crosthwaite, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Sacramento Public Library, says: “The CLA mentoring program gave me the opportunity to connect with someone who is also passionate about the industry and could answer questions or give guidance when I needed it; especially when I didn't want to ask that question from someone in my immediate professional circle. And because she is located on the opposite end of the state, the program has enabled me to expand my professional network. Also, listing that I've been involved in the CLA mentoring program on job applications has been a definite plus. I believe it proves that I am serious about learning as much as possible about this profession.”

Betty Waznis, Director, City of Chula Vista Department of Library and Recreation, says: “You may never have seen yourself in the role of a mentor, but everyone has something to share. Everyone can listen and give feedback. I encourage any librarian to consider mentoring—it’s a rewarding experience that will not require more of a commitment than you can give, and you will get so much in return. I benefited from having contact with someone who is at a different organizational level from me and who I don’t supervise; it gave me a more honest look at what newer professionals are facing.”

Although Cathy and Betty’s mentoring relationship was intended to end in November 2012, they still keep in touch. If you’d like to participate in CLA’s Mentoring Program (as a mentor, mentee, or both!) please visit the mentoring pages on CLA’s website for more information.

The Mentoring Program is coordinated by CLA’s Management Interest Group.