Text by: Jo
Our pilot mentoring programme formally concluded in July 2017, and we are finally getting around to writing an evaluation of the program! Better late than never!
For anyone reading who isn’t familiar with our pilot mentoring program, you can check out the blog posts, but for your convenience here are the basics:
- We had eight LIS students register for our pilot program. We paired them with eight volunteer mentors.
- Over three months the pairings met for coffee, attended events, or visited each other’s workplaces.
- The program ran from from approximately April to June 2017.
A few weeks ago we circulated a basic Google form to survey participants about their experiences and to seek their feedback on the program. We received seven replies to the survey, which is a little on the low side, but even a small amount of data can help us reflect on the program and make improvements for future iterations. Below we will summarise some of the responses and share some comments.
We were thrilled to see that all the participants who responded to our survey would recommend participating in the HKLC mentoring programme to others. That is great motivation to get planning on a second round of mentoring!
Here are some of the comments from the open-ended questions (modified slightly for brevity):
What did you learn?
Some experience of working in the library field.
Different positions of library staff and their work, and most importantly, how to connect with patrons.
Sharing is learning!
Self-reflect my own knowledge and experiences in Library industry. Communication skills was enhanced when encouraging mentee to join the Library workshops.
That it is really hard to predict what knowledge is useful to a mentee.
I learned more about works of different department and have a better plan for my future career.
Better vision on the possibility on the field of librarianship. I also have more motivation on learning more of different sections.
What advice would you give to future participants in the HKLC mentoring programme?
Be prepared and active to communicate with each other.
As a mentor, make sure not to drop the ball! It was very easy to have good intentions in the beginning, but harder to maintain them.
Mentoring is a great way to create synergy and to network.
Be initiative, stay in touch with your mentor!
It's hard to participate the program when you are working, but it's a great chance to learn people with different vision.
Is there anything you would change about this experience?
More group activities: I don't think that mentees necessarily know what they are looking for right away or there are common interests amongst the mentees that might be best served through a group activity.
Can organize more events/activities for all mentors and mentees to participate
At the beginning of the programme programme director could ask the expectations from mentor and mentee. At the same time, programme director could express the aims and meaning of a "Mentoring programme".
It is better to avoid the exam period.
In sum, we are pleased that people found the experience worthwhile, but there are certainly some improvements we can make. We especially appreciate the comments that more group activities would be beneficial and we hope to be able to organise more activities or events in future. If you have an idea for an activity, please let us know! Huge thanks must go to the participants who responded to the survey - your time in sharing your comments is highly valued!
Finally, we would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks to all the mentors and mentees in our pilot mentoring program for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm. It has been great to get to know you over the last few months, and we look forward to more get-togethers in the future.
If you would like to revisit some of the blog posts from our participants, you can do so here: