Peer Mentoring

Our new peer mentoring project will facilitate the development of a structured mentoring scheme for Heads of Service.

Our ambition is to create a more skilled, diverse and confident leadership and to remove any real or perceived barriers to progression. We want a mentoring scheme that is sensitive to individuals’ different needs, including those from non-traditional library backgrounds, and to develop a model that we could apply to other levels of library leadership.

Libraries Connected membership totals 177 library services, and we have recently welcomed new Heads of Service to our organisation. Some of these were appointed from within their library services and others had moved from other sectors or roles within local government. Further, many experienced Heads of Service are now facing new challenges, such as service restructure or capital developments.

The structured mentoring scheme will help all these service leaders to access support tailored to their needs and will ensure that this support is provided by a wide range of heads of service, with a variety of experiences. The scheme will also benefit the mentors, supporting their development as leaders and role models. We aim to develop a scheme that can be easily sustained by Libraries Connected staff and members beyond the term of the initial project.

We have appointed Red Quadrant to deliver this project for us and they began work in January 2022. Their team comes with a wealth of experience in the library and broader cultural sectors. They have worked with staff at The National Archives to design their mentoring scheme to help build relationships between confident digital practitioners and those with limited experience. They also delivered the Wellcome Foundation’s mentoring programme in collaboration with the London Mentoring Network.

We expect to launch the peer mentoring scheme at the end of June 2022.