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Midwinter 2011 San Diego: minutes

ALCTS CCS Recruitment and Mentoring Committee
ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting, San Diego
Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Aqua 312
Sat. Jan. 8, 2011, 1:30-3:30


Members in attendance: Bradford Eden, Nancy Lewis, Carolyn McCallum, Robert Rendall (intern), Amanda Ros, Raegan Wiechert (chair)
Members excused: Martha Conway, Gail Hueting, Teressa Keenan (virtual member)
Guests: Michael Babinec

1. Mentoring

Most of the committee’s meeting was focused on plans to implement a new mentoring program for CCS.  

Raegan provided some background on the history of this committee and mentoring within CCS.  In the past there was a one-year test of a mentoring program for cataloging students and new professionals, but it was not continued.  Since the last meeting committee members have been drafting an initial survey to allow potential mentors and mentees to sign up for a new ongoing program.

GoogleDocs may be the best option for hosting the program online because that will allow all committee members to have easy access to the survey results.  Carolyn passed around a copy of the draft survey which will feed the results into a spreadsheet.  The committee members will test drive the survey themselves by filling it out as if they were potential mentors or mentees before it is released.  We hope to have it ready by February.

The committee discussed whether it was appropriate to ask participants if they had a mentor/mentee gender preference, and to ask mentors whether they were willing to mentor junior professionals and/or library school students.  In the test program a small number of participants expressed a gender preference, so we should probably continue to offer them that option.  Allowing mentors to specify that they want to mentor library school students only may encourage participation by junior professionals who would be uncomfortable trying to mentor their peers.

After the survey is posted online and announced, the committee will collect names for a month before beginning to match mentors with mentees.  After that we will have to decide how frequently to match participants who sign up later.  To make sure that potential participants remain aware of the program we can send out reminders every six months.  The current plan is to get the program up and running before ALA Annual in New Orleans and assess the results at our meeting there.  Amanda mentioned that NMRT had a mentoring program where participants were invited to meet as a group at ALA Annual if they were attending so we may want to do something similar.

The committee will have to work out the methodology to use in matching.  Only one member at a time will be able to work on matching to avoid duplication.  We may try to match people who are geographically close to each other when possible.

The commitment for mentors and mentees will be for one year after their match, although they may choose to continue the relationship outside of the formal program after that.  The committee will put mentors and mentees in touch by e-mail.  If a mentee does not hear from a mentor they can contact the committee and we will resolve the problem or reassign the mentee to a new mentor.  

We will want to make sure that we collect evaluations from participants in the program.  That was not done for the previous one-year test program.

Christine Taylor has asked the committee to come up with a list of questions that beginning catalogers have: things we now wish we had been told when we started our careers.  The committee will develop a response.

2. Recruitment

Up to now the committee’s focus has been on mentoring rather than recruitment, but Amanda is a member of the ALA Recruitment Assembly and will report back to us on activities there.  Our function will be to suggest recruiting ideas to CCS Executive Committee, not to implement them ourselves.  We might begin with ideas for posters or brochures.

3. Other

This committee has a web page and an ALA Connect site and a group email.  We will use our ALA Connect site to consolidate our documentation, scanning older documents that we have only in print and getting them online for future reference.

Committee members agreed that we could continue meeting on Saturday afternoons in the current time slot.

Minutes submitted by Robert Rendall.