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CLA Mentoring Program
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Would you like to get advice on progressing your career? Are you at a crossroads and looking for some help? Do you have 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, coordinated by CLA's Management Interest Group, is for you!

CLA’s Management Interest Group 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--bringing their experiences of cutting edge practices and technologies to more experienced professionals.

Sign up now for professional support and advice and to help others develop their careers.

"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.... Also, listing that I've been involved in the CLA Mentoring Program on job applications has been a definite plus." Cathy Crosthwaite, Sacramento Public Library

Application Materials

The Mentoring Program is for CLA members and mentee/mentor applicants must be current members. Become a member today!


What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a relationship within which mentor and mentee share knowledge and experience for mutual benefit.

What is the purpose of CLA’s Mentoring Program?
The purpose of CLA’s Mentoring Program is to: encourage career progression for librarians and information professionals at all stages of their careers; facilitate the sharing of current knowledge, techniques and practices; and promote outstanding leadership and management in California’s libraries.
Who can participate in CLA’s Mentoring Program?
The program is open to all CLA members and is designed to benefit library professionals at all stages of their careers. For example: We encourage students to find mentors who will guide them through their first professional positions, and to mentor more experienced professionals in cutting edge practices and technologies. We invite professionals at all levels to share their experiences and the lessons they have learned, and to refresh their skills by signing-up to be mentored by a library school student. And we encourage experienced library directors to mentor new and aspiring managers.
What commitment is required of participants?
  • We ask each mentor for up to a 10-month commitment to his or her mentee.
  • Mentors and mentees must communicate regularly.
  • Where possible, we encourage mentors and mentees to meet in person at the CLA annual conference.
  • Mentors may be asked to participate in annual conference activities such as speed mentoring, resume review, and other programs.
Who coordinates CLA’s Mentoring Program?
A sub-committee of the Management Interest Group maintains the mentoring program for CLA and reports to the Board on its progress. The committee’s responsibilities include: matching mentors and mentees (confidentiality is assured at all); creating forms and content for the CLA website; administering a satisfaction survey to mentors and mentees, and conducting follow-up sessions at conference to discuss progress and challenges; and creating a Mentoring Alumni Group to encourage further professional development and guide the development of the program. The process of being matched can take between 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on how many people are available for matching.

"You may have never 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." Betty Waznis, Chulta Vista Public Library