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MENTORING: A STRATEGY FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF LIBRARIANS IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES.

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Information is power and a major asset to any individual that knows how to source, harness, organize and use it. It is in the realization of the significant role of information that academic libraries are established to provide information to their communities for teaching, learning, research and entertainment purposes. Libraries are repositories of information and knowledge from all fields of learning relevant to the academic community they serve (Ugwuanyi, 2011). There is therefore need for librarians in these libraries to continue to acquire knowledge and competencies that will enable them perform their functions effectively.

The library and information science study according to Pan and Hovde (2010), prepares librarians for the role of service provision. Yet, librarians may be less equipped through formal training for the scholarly demands of their own research and publication needs. The skills required to satisfy these demands are often times acquired on the job, especially with the support of experienced and versed librarians. Different institutions require that librarians pursue successful researches and publications for their promotion. According to Pan and Hoyde, there is an official consensus that many librarians are ill-prepared to successfully complete this requirement. Thus, the need for mentoring librarians to become as savvy as the clients they serve. The most productive and effective way for librarians to keep up with these changes is to seek professional development opportunities.

Professional development is the continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills that relate to one's profession, job responsibilities or work environment (Spencer and Ard, 2006). It plays a key role in maintaining trained, informed and motivated employees regardless of job classification. Pan and Hovde (2010) also observe that it is a universal requirement of all librarians in order to keep up with the rapid changes in the library field and to maintain professionalism. There are varieties of approaches to professional development. These include consultation, coaching, and communication of practice, technical assistance, reflective supervision and mentoring (Richie & Genoni, 2008). This present study focused only on mentoring.

Mentoring in librarianship is a process of learning and development based on a personal relationship in which an experienced librarian called a mentor helps a new librarian called mentee to develop as a professional and achieve professional goals. A core feature that defines mentoring relationship and distinguishes it from other types of personal relationship is that it is a developmental relationship embedded within the career context. While learning, growth and development may occur in many different types of work and close personal relationships, mentoring relationships are unique because their primary focus is on career growth and development (Ragins & Kram, 2008).

For a new librarian, professional training begins from the moment he steps into the profession (Insala, 2013). Professional training and learning are required to be built on the existing foundation in order that new librarians can develop the depth of knowledge required over time. Mentoring a new and prospective professional provides an opportunity for both the new and the seasoned professionals to develop and refine the necessary skills to be successful in the diverse and rapidly evolving library and information profession.

Pan and I-Iovde (2010) observe that new hires, whether fresh from school with a recent curriculum or with the advantage of years of practical experience face and need to become familiar with the new institutional identity. An experienced librarian (a mentor) would choose to mentor a new librarian informally to be perfect in the different skills of practice. Mentoring can help the new librarian put theoretical knowledge into practice, apply generalized concepts to specific responsibilities and become familiar with given job situations. Mentoring is also used as gimmicks for professional socialization which encompasses processes and structures related to the workplace. Edwards and Hunchliffe (2009) believe that it is the process of internalizing the culture, values, beliefs, and norms of a profession and thereby becoming part of it.

Mentoring relationships play a vital role in professional development. Nwabueze and Ozioko (2012) observe that no institution can exist without older and more experienced members passing on wisdom acquired over years to new members. Mentoring has a long-standing tradition in many professions like law, medicine and business organization where practitioners also have academic appointment similar to librarianship (Kaufmann, 2009). According to Southeastern Library Association (2009), mentoring relationship is usually encouraged in order to provide a method of introducing and encouraging young librarians and other library personnel to work together. It also improves employee motivation, provides succession planning and also enhance network and learning about the profession. For mentoring relationships to be effective, strategies for professional development must be applied. Strategy according to Hornby, (2005) is a plan that is intended to achieve a particular purpose, while mentoring gimmicks are the forms of mentoring which are intended to expose librarians to various skills and aspects of librarianship for professional development.

There are two main views of a successful mentoring experience observed by Kutilck and Ernest (2001) and Spencer (2010). One is that mentoring is a dynamic informal relationship and the other is a formally structured mentoring programme that includes peer, group and electronic mentoring.

Informal mentoring refers to one-to-one relationship where selection is dependent on the personal choice of the mentor or the mentee. According to Sodipe and Madukoma (2013), it happens spontaneously based on mutual respect and rapport. It can occur when someone with more experience takes a special interest in the career of a less experienced colleague who he recognized as having potentials or talent. It can also happen when a less experienced individual approaches an experienced senior colleague who he believes can help him gain new knowledge and skills. It is usually unplanned, unstructured and without the involvement of any organization. While a formal mentoring programme according to Ritchie and Genoni (2008) is a programme designed to facilitate mentoring relationships in an organization or a professional association. Mentees are systematically matched with mentors based on parameters set by administrators. The organization oversees and guides the mentoring programme in order to promote employee development. They are usually structured and have clear and specific goals and can be assessed. Mentoring programmes in academic libraries are usually specific and are closely tied to the librarian's career stage (Freedman, 2009). The underlying philosophy of any mentoring programme is to allow the mentees find the best in themselves, live up to their personal visions and enhance their potentialities and skills.

Since it has been established from literature that mentoring is all about the transmission of knowledge and skills, especially the process that supports professional learning and skills development which is usually between more experienced individual who is willing to learn and share his professional and personal skills and experiences with a less experienced individual who is also willing to learn and grow in the same profession and that mentoring relationships can play a vital role in professional development, there is therefore need to determine mentoring gimmicks necessary for professional development of librarians, mentoring programmes through which the librarians can excel professionally, benefits of mentoring among librarians; challenges to effective mentoring among librarians and the appropriate gimmicks to overcome mentoring challenges.

Statement of the problem

Mentoring relationships are typically supportive of individuals' learning as they create a safe learning environment. Ideally, norms that are supportive of individuals' existence are consciously reinforced by mentoring in all its various forms. From reviewed literature, Hilbum, (2007), Cooke, (2011), Ezeani, Eke and Ugwu (2012), Cheorg (2008), Adoye and Popoola (2011), Bell (2009), Ozioko, Nwabueze and Igwesi (2013), newly employed librarians in university libraries have challenges in getting to know their expectations, routines, standards and organizational culture. It was discovered that early career librarians face challenges in areas of assimilation, isolation, work satisfaction and stress. Causes of these challenges could be inexperience, uncertain about their expectations, nervousness, etc. They therefore need assistance e.g. mentoring to perform their roles toward the achievement of corporate organizational goal. The extent to which the corporate goal of an organization is achieved depends on the professional capability and activities of each member. It is believed that librarianship skills are best learnt on the job. Yet, competencies and service delivery of new and mid-career librarians are not as effective as it should be in some university libraries. It has also been observed that library school education is considered inadequate to successful prepare academic librarians for their academic citizenship. Thus, the need for learning opportunities situated in practice. The panacea to these challenges could be mentoring. Through the application of mentoring strategies in university libraries, integral components of developing competencies for new and mid-career librarians can be achieved. Mentoring is also ideal for providing librarians with the required skills for research and publication needed for their promotion and career growth, thus this study.

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to: find out different mentoring strategies in use for professional development of librarians, ascertain benefit of mentoring among librarians, determine challenges to effective mentoring of librarians and determine different strategies to overcome mentoring challenges amongst federal university librarians in Nigeria.

Four research questions guided the study. They are:

1) What are the mentoring strategies in use for professional development of librarians in university library?

2) What are the benefits of mentoring librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria?

3) What are the challenges to effective mentoring of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria?

4) What are the strategies to be adopted to overcome the challenges of mentoring librarians?

Significance of the study

The findings of this study are of immense significance to: the university management, library school curriculum planners, library administrators, library staff and researchers.

The university management will benefit from the findings as it will enable them take decisions and encourage the establishment of mentoring relationships in the university libraries. Such relationships will enhance staff training internally thereby saving resources.

Curriculum planners in library and information science will also benefit from the findings and they may include scholarly demands of librarians in research and publication needed for their career growth in library school curriculum. Library administrators will also benefit as the findings will highlight the need to create an environment that will enhance development of trusting professional relationships among staff. This will engender increased competencies and healthy work environment.

Libraries staff will benefit from the results of the study as it will enable them define their specific goals and expectations in librarianship, enable them have equal access to more experienced librarians and it will also provide valuable information to researchers for further studies on mentoring and professional development of librarians.

Scope of the Study

This study examined mentoring strategies in use for professional development of librarians in federal universities in North-Central Nigeria (Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Benue, Kogi-Kwara. Niger, Nasarawa and Platue States): it was restricted to finding out the various mentoring strategies that are in use, benefits of mentoring among librarians, challenges. Only academic librarians formed the study population. North-Central Nigeria was chosen for the study because it has the highest number of federal universities in the country.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

To become successful and advance professionally, librarians must develop a network of people with career open doors. They should connect to people who can be important resources in satisfying greater career advancement and less conflict at work. This can be achieved through mentoring. According to USOPM (2008) and Spencer (2010), there are three variables in the concept of mentoring. These are the mentor, the mentee and the mentoring process. A mentor has been defined by Freedman (2009) as an individual with more experience and knowledge who is committed to providing upward career guidance and advice to a less experienced individual. While a mentee is usually a novice in the field, described by Spencer (2010) as a partner, protege or participant in the mentoring process. Mentoring process according to Spencer (2010) is the development of a relationship between the mentor and the mentee.

Mentoring Strategies for Librarians: There are various mentoring strategies that exist in different types of library organizations which can take various dimensions depending on the structure, function and consent. Sodipe and Madukoma (2013) categorized these strategies into two: traditional form which is informal in nature and the formal mentoring which assumes different forms such as: peer, group and electronic mentoring.

Traditional or informal mentoring refers to one-on-one or face-to-face mentoring relationship where selection is dependent on the personal choice of the mentor or the mentee according to Sodipe and Madukoma (2013). Ritchie and Genoni (2008) observe that informal mentoring exists outside the boundaries of an official mentoring programme. In this, the pairing process relies completely on a process of natural selection. They further note that, although it is an unstructured programme, it provides an organized context. It also allows the individual participants to decide the terms of their relationships and the activities they will undertake. It is unstructured and focuses on building a relationship between the mentee and the mentor with whom they have personal connection or social network. Formal mentoring takes place when the relationship is facilitated by the organization or professional association. In the view of Asadu (2010), Mentees are systematically matched with mentors based on parameters set by administrators who have little personal knowledge of mentors and mentees. Ritchie and Genoni (2008) observe that, formal mentoring is based on structured programme that has an organized context. It gives participants the procedures and guidelines with which to conduct their relationships. Formal mentoring is classified into peer, group and electronic forms.

Peer mentoring is a designed form of mentoring relationship for librarians which occurs when professional colleagues who have similar developmental needs come together in a mutually supportive, instructive and complementary partnership. USOPM (2008) views peer mentoring as a relationship with individuals within the same grade, organization, and/or job series. The purpose of peer mentoring is to support colleagues in their professional development and growth to facilitate mutual learning and to build a sense of community.

Group mentoring is another mentoring strategy that exists among librarians for their professional development. According to Asadu (2010), it takes place when more than a pair of individuals come together in a group in which one or more members of the group provides support or direction to others. Group mentoring as observed by Ritchie and Genoni, (2008) brings together a number of individuals under the guidance of one or more experienced group leaders or facilitators for a particular purpose. The authors also refer to it as co-mentoring. It is intended that the individuals, who are at a similar stage of learning or have related learning needs will form a supportive learning group. Zachary (2000), observe that there are two main types of group mentoring, facilitated group mentoring and team mentoring. Facilitated group mentoring allows a number of people to participate in a learning group and to benefit simultaneously from the experience and expertise of a mentor or mentors. The richness of the experience multiplies as each group participants bring personal experience into the conversation.

Electronic or online mentoring is another form of mentoring strategy that exists for librarians. E-mentoring is employed according to Phillips-Jones (2009) when face to face communication, interactions and sharing of knowledge and expertise is difficult because of multiple locations or virtual offices. According to Hamilton and Scandura (2003), it is the process of using electronic means as the primary channel of communication between mentors and mentees. E-mentoring is particularly useful in large library systems as observed by Wilson, Gaunt and Tehrani (2009) in that it allows partnering relationships to span across branches, departments, or even towns. Its greatest advantage is the ability to overcome geographical barrier.

Professional development for librarians: Professional development according to Cinkir (2007) is a process of developing self-awareness, competence in and better understanding of professional roles and tasks. It is a broader concept relating more to ongoing positive changes in people's professional capabilities and careers. Eke (2011) refers to professional development as skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. Megginson (2006) defines professional development as encompassing all that improves one's ability to succeed in a field. Megginsan also notes that it can take place through conference sessions, formal courses, web casts, mentoring or networking.

Professional development for university librarians fulfills a need for continuing the acquisition of knowledge and competencies that have not been met by formal education (Pan. & Hovde, 2010) It is an essential part of librarians' professional success and career growth. Ugwuanyi and Ejikeme (2011) posit that librarians need to continue to learn, to update and to refresh their knowledge to prevent the onset of professional alienation in performance and to also adjust to the culture and change prevalent in the new information environment. Mentoring provides the structural and attitudinal context in which continuing professional development can occur in a number of ways. The qualities as described by Ritchie and Genoni (2008) include:

1. It updates a person's education (makes an individual's education comparable to that of persons receiving similar degree or certificate at the present time).

2. It allows for diversification to a new area within a field.

3. It assumes that the individual carries the basic responsibility for his or her own development.

4. It involves education activities that are beyond those considered necessary for entrance into the field.

Thus, professional development is concerned with equipping individuals with the skills, access to information and training that enables such individual to enhance the performance of his duties as it is the dream of every professional to improve on his job in a bid to achieve self-satisfaction.

Benefits of Mentoring Librarians: Despite challenges, mentoring relationship can prove a highly effective and enjoyable developmental tool for the mentee and mentor alike (Brewerton, 2010). Mentoring motivates and engages high-potential staff and the most crucial employee in any organization. According to Lee (2009), it is the high-potential employee who provides the knowledge and experience to the younger ones. As such mentoring enhances human resources management skills in an organization. Mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial for the mentee, mentor and the organization. In discussing the benefits of mentoring for the mentee McKimm, Jollie and Hatter (2007) outline the following: It develops learning oportunity, gives analytical and reflective skills, develops organizational and professional knowledge, and reinforces self-confidence and willingness to take risks, offers ability to accept criticism, accelerates professional development, reduces reality shock, encourages ongoing learning and development, identifies learning opportunities in the work situation and offers individualized or one-to-one teaching and opportunities for experiential learning.

Mentoring Challenges in Libraries: Many factors militate against effective mentoring of librarians in Nigerian Federal Universities. Some factors may come from the mentors, mentee or the organization. No matter where they come from strategies for combating these challenges should be proffered for professional development of librarians. Ugwuanyi (2011) identifies some challenges to successful mentoring relationships in libraries as: (a) Wrong choice of mentors: mentors are chosen without due consideration of career goal or interests, aptitude and attitudes of the mentee. In this case, the effectiveness of the programme will be challenged, (b) Setting behavioural goals: Goals comprise broad objectives, which need to be broken down into objectives that are specific, measurable and achievable. Without specific objectives, it becomes difficult to assess or measure the extent to which the broad goals have been attained.

(c) Mentee's inability to open up during interaction. When this happens mentees fail to interact and operate at required frequencies. As these types of mentoring behaviours are emitted both parties loose direction and achieve less (d) Unconstructive criticism from mentors to their mentees instead of encouraging them: this kills inventiveness as it dampens the zeal and spirit of self-discovery. Under this condition the mentees go into desperation and despondency.

Adeniji and Adeniji (2010) looking at mentoring challenges in university libraries opine that the absence of academic culture in any university library, mentoring for research and publication will be affected. Academic culture according to Adeniji and Adeniji entails unbridled flair for research regular in-house seminars, healthy rivalry among the academic personnel, sincere desire to share knowledge and ideas. Where these conditions are lacking, mentoring cannot thrive. Again, if the library administration is the type that does not believe in grooming new employees, mentoring will not succeed. Brewerton (2010) posits that as with any staff development programme there will always be challenges which include: inability to keep to plans, the mentee becoming too dependent on the mentor for all decisions, development of inappropriate emotional feelings as a result of the close nature of the relationship as well as professional jealousy from colleagues.

Strategies for overcoming mentoring challenges: Goldman (2011) remarks that mentorship problems can be avoided with training and clear expectations for both mentors and mentees. According to Robbelot, Eng and Weiss (2013), there is no magic formula for successful mentoring, but many authors describe the traits of successful mentoring to mentor-mentee pairing. The importance of communication is noted by Adeniji and Adeniji (2010), Ugwuanyi (2011) and Fermlink (201). Osif (2008) urges mentees to be open and honest about what they are looking for or trying to achieve. Lack of information can stall projects as well as the development of the relationship between mentor and mentee (Goldman 2011). Neyer and Yelinek (2011) note that good interpersonal and solid professional skills are equally important and suggest encouraging more experienced librarians to mentor by providing continuing education. Neyer and Yelinek, further state that the 'most effective mentoring relationships were based on taking time for the relationship, sharing interests and having mutual respect for each other". Goldman (2011) also suggests that mentors and mentees should have reasonable time for commitment expectations mutual respect and willingness to listen and learn from each other.

Robbert Eng and Weiss (2013) posits that good communication from management, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, a reward system and keeping goals measurable for assessment purposes can enhance the success of a formal mentoring programme. For Fermlink (2013), mentors and mentees can avoid complications in their relationships by clearly identifying boundaries, being clear about time constraints, giving the best times to be reached, having preferred communication methods and continually evaluating how well the purpose and goals of the mentoring relationship are met. Ugwuanyi (2010) identifies some strategies for overcoming mentoring challenges to include: (1) Mentors should be ready and quick to give information, support, feedback, ideas and contacts to their mentee. They should not hoard knowledge. (2) Mentees should bring to their mentors well-conceived and articulated topics for discussion at every meeting. This hastens comprehension and makes for easier discussion, (3) Mentors should be trained. This is necessary for the mentoring programme to achieve desired objectives. The mentors should have a good knowledge of what to expect in the programme and be able to help the mentees to acquire necessary skills for their career growth. (4) Mentees should be willing and ready to open up at every meeting with mentors. This enables the mentors to empathize with the mentees and be able to actualize the goals of mentoring.

In the same view, Brewerton (2010) cited Parsloe and Wray (2008) he offers seven strategies to ensure that mentoring relationship will remain a success. These are:

1. Success comes mostly from doing simple things consistently

2. Make sure you meet-Busy mentors do not always find the time to meet their mentee

3. Keep it brief-Generally, meetings should be between 30 and 75 minutes long

4. Stick to the basic process-Follow basic meeting rules

5. Develop the task, not tell habit

6. Remember, it's all about learning

7. Expect to gain-It is not only the mentee who will benefit; it should be a win-win situation and the mentor should acknowledge that.

From the foregoing, it can be synthesized that overcome mentoring challenges have to do with proper planning, understanding, implementation and evaluation of the relationship. Good communication and interpersonal skills, professional skills, having mutual trust and respect, willingness to listen and leam from each other can also enhance mentoring relationships.

METHODOLOGY

Descriptive survey design as well as interview schedule were adopted for this study. The study was conducted in federal university libraries in North-central Nigeria which is made up of seven states namely; Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Nasarawa and Platue states. This zone has the highest number of federal universities in the country. The population for this study consisted of 107 librarians who include university librarians, deputy university librarians, principal librarians, senior librarians, librarian I & II in the university libraries under study. No sampling was done since the population is manageable. All the librarians (107) in these University libraries were involved in the study.

The data required for this study was collected through an interview schedule and a structured questionnaire titled 'Mentoring Strategies for Professional Development of Librarians' (MSPDL). The instrument has two parts (A & B). Part A was used to collect demographic information of the respondents while part B is made up of four clusters, each cluster represented one research question. Data collected was analyzed using weighted mean and ranked accordingly. A higher value indicated a positive response than a lower value. The mean points is 2.50 (1+2+3+4 - 10/4 - 2.5). Items to the values 2.50 and above were given positive interpretation (agreed) while items to the values below 2.50 were interpreted negatively (disagreed).

RESULTS

As shown in Table 1, the respondents agree that the nine mentoring strategies listed were used for their professional development but some are more in use than others. The result indicates that informal mentoring, which is usually unplanned, unstructured and without the involvement of any organization is the main strategy in use for professional development of librarians in Nigerian federal universities. This is in line with the observations of Sit (n.d), who observed that informal mentoring is widely practiced in academic libraries among all levels of staff because the practice is essentially one of apprenticeship. It happens spontaneously based on mutual respect and rapport. It allows the individual participants to decide the terms of their relationships without organizational input. However, the result reveals that experienced librarians share professional ideas online with colleagues in other libraries. The finding is in line with the current trend in librarianship. The result further reveals that formal, group and peer mentoring strategies are not fully in use for professional development of librarians in the libraries under study. This is in line with the findings of Robbelot, Eng and Weiss (2013), which showed that different mentoring strategies are available to librarians for their professional development in the United States. The disparity between the two findings could probably be the geographical locations.

In table 2, the respondents agreed that all the 15 possible benefits of mentoring were accruable to librarians in federal university libraries as the mean ratings were all markedly above 2.50 acceptance criterion. The findings reveal that mentoring improves team work and cooperation in the library, accelerates career advancement in librarianship and enhances learning culture in the library. This result is consistent with the findings of Anagbogu and Nwokolo (2012) which affirmed that mentoring relationships have increased the skill acquisition of those that were mentored and has helped them to develop an understanding of the organizational culture. The findings are also in lien with that of Sodipe and Madukoma (201) which showed that academic librarians that were mentored attained career goals, higher income and possess new skills.

Mean responses on the challenges shown in Table 4 indicates that nine out of eleven possible challenges to mentoring enumerated were endorsed by respondents as affecting the mentoring of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria. These challenges are listed in descending order in the table 3. However, the respondents disagreed, that insubordination on the part of the mentee or mentees becoming too dependent on the mentors as well as development of inappropriate emotional feeling by mentors or mentees pose challenges to effective mentoring in the libraries studied.

The mean responses on the ways to overcome mentoring challenges as shown in Table 5 indicate that respondents agreed that all the 11 strategies listed would help in overcoming mentoring challenges among librarians in federal university libraries. These include: organization of adequate training for both the mentor and mentee, existence of mutual respect and trust between those in mentoring relationship, willingness of the mentor and mentee to learn from each other and development of good interpersonal and professional skills are suggested ways of overcoming challenges to effective mentoring. Other suggested ways are: defining roles and responsibilities clearly' and establishing good communication with library management in the mentoring process. This regard agrees with the observations of Osif (2011). These authors have separately concurred that the factors listed in this section provide ways to overcome mentoring challenges.

Conclusion

Based on the analysis and interview results of this study, the conclusions below are drawn:

Informal mentoring which is face-to-face, one-to-one relationship where selection is dependent on personal choice of the mentor or mentee is the strategy mainly in use for professional development of librarians in the universities under study. Formal, peer and group mentoring strategies are rarely used. The findings proved that mentoring is beneficial to the mentee, mentor and the organization as it improves team work, cooperation in the library and accelerates career advancement in librarians. Numerous challenges to mentoring are all related to the attitude of the mentee, mentor, library management and lack of mentoring orientation in the practice of librarianship. With adequate training, good interpersonal and professional skills by both the mentee and the mentor, good communication from the library management among others are the suggested ways to overcome mentoring challenges in university libraries.

Implication of the study

The implication of this study is that if formal mentoring strategy (peer, group and electronic mentoring) is not urgently adopted and put in place by university management in these universities under study, professional development of librarians will not met, job performance will be adversely affected, career success and self-esteem will also be hindered. Thus, contribution to knowledge through research and publications will be stalled leading to low institutional rating.

Recommendations

1. Formal mentoring should be encouraged by university administrators to enable librarians at any career stage to identify their own needs and seek help that best suit their individual needs.

2. Orientation programme on mentoring and its benefits should be frequently organized by libraries and professional associations. This will enhance employee development through skill acquisition and consequently ensure career success.

3. Concerted effort should be made to sensitize both the mentors and the mentees in changing their attitudes towards mentoring relationships for the benefit of the profession.

4. Finally, mentors and mentees should be given adequate training by individual library administrators to alleviate mentoring challenges.

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Nkechi Anthonia Idoko (Ph.D)

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria Nsukka

nkechi.idoko@unn.edu.ng

Richard N.C. Ugwuanyi (Ph.D)

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria Nsukka

richard.ugwuanyi@unn.edu.ng

&

Osadebe, Ngozi Eunice (Mrs)

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria Nsukka

ngozi.osadebe@unn.edu.ng
Table 1: Mean (x) Scores of Librarian on mentoring strategies in use
for Professional
Development

S/N   Items                                             Mean   Remarks

      Less experienced librarians willingly seek        3.71   Agreed
      advice and guidance from experienced librarian
      at any time? (informal mentoring)
      Experienced librarians willingly advise and       3.57   Agreed
      guide and the less experienced ones as the
      need arises? (informal mentoring)
      Librarians belong to online forums such as        3.24   Agreed
      Linked-in, which help them to share ideas?
      (E-mentoring)
      Experienced librarians share professional ideas   3.12   Agreed
      online with colleagues in other libraries?
      (E-mentoring)
      Less experienced librarians seek advice and       2.55   Agreed
      guidance online from professions colleagues in
      distant libraries? (E-mentoring)
      Experienced librarians collaborate on             2.54   Agreed
      professional issues like agenda, share
      information on conferences, seminars and
      workshops? (Group mentoring)
      Less experienced librarian are paired with        2.52   Agreed
      experienced ones for professional development?
      (Group mentoring)
      Less experienced librarians with similar needs    2.51   Agreed
      come together to dialogue on issues affecting
      them? (peer mentoring)
      Management organizes mentoring for newly          2.50   Agreed
      employed librarians (Group mentoring)

Table 2: Mean (x) scores of the respondents on benefits of mentoring
librarians:

S/N    Items                                           Mean   Remarks

1.     Improves team work and cooperation in the       3.51   Agreed
       library
2.     Off communicate opportunity with senior         3.43   Agreed
       colleagues
3.     Accelerates career advancement in               3.42   Agreed
       librarianship
4.     Enhances learning culture in the library        3.42   Agreed
5.     Gives greater knowledge of career success       3.39   Agreed
       factors
6.     Provides incentive to keep up-to-date with      3.39   Agreed
       professional developments in librarianship
7.     Provides for succession planning in the         3.38   Agreed
       library
8.     Helps to establish a connection o senior        3.37   Agreed
       colleagues and build peer librarians network
9.     Enhances collaboration between senior and       3.36   Agreed
       junior librarians
10.    Enables the mentor to understand barriers       3.34   Agreed
       experienced at lower levels of the library
       work
11.    Develops the habit of trust and                 3.34   Agree
       confidentially in the library
12.    Mentors use the opportunity to pass on their    3.33   Agree
       skills to others
13.    Helps in the successful induction into the      3.28   Agree
       work of the library
14.    Helps to extend lifelong leaning among          3.26   Agree
       librarians
15.    Increases job satisfaction                      3.16   Agree

Table 3: Mean (x) scores of the respondents on the challenges to
effective mentoring

S/N    Items                                            Mean   Remarks

1.     Lack of adequate facilities required for e-      3.44   Agree
       mentoring of librarians
2.     Unconstructive criticism by the mentor to the    3.30   Agree
       mentee
3.     Broken confidentially by both mentor and the     3.24   Agree
       mentee
4.     Lack of sincere desire to share knowledge by     3.24   Agree
       the mentor
5.     Inability of both the mentor and the mentee to   3.19   Agree
       keep to the goals and objectives of the
       relationship
6.     Inability of the mentee to open up during        3.18   Agree
       interaction
7.     Absence of mentoring orientation in the          3.16   Agree
       practice of librarianship
8.     Exploitation of the mentee by the mentor         3.15   Agree
9.     Development of inappropriate emotional feeling   2.47   Disagree
       by the mentor or the mentee
10.    The mentee becoming too dependent on the         2.37   Disagree
       mentor
11.    Time constraint due to work pressure             2.34   Disagree

Table 4: Mean (x) scores of the respondents on ways to overcome
mentoring Challenges

S/N    Items                                             Mean   Remarks

1.     The mentor and the mentee should have mutual      3.57   Agree
       trust and respect for each other
2.     There should be willingness to listen and learn   3.55   Agree
       from each other
3.     Organized of constant training for both mentors   3.53   Agree
       and mentees
4.     There should be clearly defined roles and         3.45   Agree
       responsibilities
5.     The mentor and the mentee should have good        3.45   Agree
       interpersonal and professional skills
6.     Boundaries and time for the relationship should   3.39   Agree
       be clearly defined
7.     Library management should be involved in the      3.35   Agree
       mentoring process
8.     The objectives and expectation of the mentoring   3.34   Agree
       relationship should be specific and clear
9.     Undue advantage to be avoided from the mentor     3.33   Agree
10.    Insubordination from the mentee should be         3.32   Agree
       prohibited
11.    Incentive should be given to mentors              3.1    Agree
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Author:Idoko, Nkechi Anthonia; Ugwuanyi, Richard N.C.; Osadebe, Eunice Ngozi
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Date:Jan 1, 2016
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