Mentor/Mentee Program

The NELA Mentor/Mentee Program has been invaluable for my career. My mentor allows me think differently about situations at work, and at the same time, they explore what my personal approaches are to management and my career in general with me.” – NELA mentee

Did you know NELA has a mentor/mentee program? This program is designed to provide mentoring opportunities to librarians and paraprofessionals of diverse needs by volunteer mentors from various library fields and geographic locations. This program consists of two matching cycles, spring and fall. Every effort will be made to match participants with mentors who share stated interests. See what people are saying about their experiences with the NELA mentor/mentee program!

Joining NELA's list of available mentors is a great way to volunteer at your own pace. NELA will always respect a mentor's decision if they decide they are unable to accept a mentee request.

Important 2024 Deadlines & Reminders

  • April 30th - Spring Cycle Registration Deadline -- Closed
  • May 14th - Spring Cycle Training Workshops (1.5 hours) -- Closed
    • 10am - Mentee Training Workshop
    • 1pm - Mentor Training Workshop


  • Both mentor and mentee must be NELA members in order to participate.
  • Mentors and mentees will be asked to participate in a training program.
  • Once matched, a typical mentor/mentee relationship will consist of a one-year term, during which they shall communicate monthly via phone, video conferencing, email, or in person. Both mentor and mentee must be upfront and clear with each other about their availability and desired goals.
  • After one year, mentors and mentees may choose to formally extend the term for another year.
  • A mentor will not be assigned an additional mentee during the term.
  • At the end of each term, both mentors and mentees will be asked to complete a brief evaluation that will serve to document the program’s success and aid in the review of program expectations and procedures.

Although this professional relationship may not be confidential, remember that personal information shared by participants should be considered confidential. If you are not currently a NELA member, you will be able to join or renew your membership while completing the form below.

What people are saying about the mentor/mentee program.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the mentor, not the mentee. I find myself giving advice more than getting it. This experience has given me insight for how I can advance my own career, by seeing it through the lens of someone else's experience, even if the experience is not what I expected.
Great to connect and share my experience for those interested in the same area of librarianship. I have provided advice, insight, and feedback for my mentees on various topics such as resume/cover letter review, scholarship/publication submissions, course selection for graduate school and my current role in an academic library.
I encourage everyone to develop mentor/mentee relationships across your career. By developing trust and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable we accelerate our personal and professional growth and (hopefully) help create opportunities for the evolution of our field, one person at a time.
My experience as a mentee has been short, only a few months. I have only been a mentor for two months. I found my own mentor after waiting almost a year to be connected, but it has been wonderful to talk to someone who has worked in libraries longer than me and has administrative experience. She has been able to advise me as I deal with situations in my own library.
I'm very happy to be paired with a mentor through the NELA program. It is nice to chat with other library professionals outside of my institution, who have walked a similar path to achieve their graduate degree. I have met with my mentor twice (the spring semester is always really busy), but so far they have been helpful in giving me advice and a different point of view when looking at graduate schools. I hope that they will consider continuing to be a mentor to me even after the program is over.
As a mentee, I found the experience extremely helpful; having someone to communicate with whether for the most random question or the most mundane, as a new Director, was invaluable. As a mentor, being able to just be available for a new Director, I think is a comfort for those 'off the cuff' problem solving conversations.