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Evaluation of transitional mentoring for new library and information professionals: What are the professional and personal outcomes for the participants?

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Purpose ‐ To present the findings of the comparative evaluation of two transitional mentoring programs developed for new library and information professionals in Australia, one as a group program and the other with pairs of mentors/mentees. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research project involved an initial review of the literature. A comparative study was undertaken, with a survey approach to collect data from the participants in the transitional mentoring programs. The study obtained data about three key areas: career-related, learning-related, and professional development. Findings ‐ It was found that participants had a high level of satisfaction with both the programs and both mentor and mentee reported positive career, learning and personal development outcomes. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study was limited to one year of transitional mentoring activity for one professional field in Australia. It would be beneficial to continue the study over a longer period of time to collect further data from other participants. Practical implications ‐ The research project highlights evaluation of mentoring programs. The project has helped develop an initial understanding of benefits to be gained through mentoring relationships to support new professionals. The study is likely to have wider application across other professional disciplines and may encourage professionals to consider mentoring as a valuable part of career development. Originality/value ‐ The paper provides information about two different models of transitional mentoring programs, together with one possible approach for the evaluation of mentoring programs. The paper offers support and encouragement to any professional group planning to establish and manage a mentoring program.
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Keywords: Australia; Career development; Information management; Library management; Mentoring

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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