Earlier this year (2013), I attended a CILIP mentoring course. Although I did supervise someone through the chartership process some years ago (I was on maternity leave, and that baby is now nearly 18!), this was long before supervisors became mentors. Somehow it never occurred to me to become a mentor under the present system. I suppose if someone had asked me to be their mentor, it would have jolted me into action. Anyway, now I've been a Fellow for a couple of years, and younger colleagues have expressed interest in becoming chartered, it seemed like the right time to take the necessary steps.
So here I am - a mentor at last. I have two new mentees, another would-be mentee that I am meeting later this month, and a fourth initial approach. I feel like 'the old woman who lived in a shoe'! I don't know how many mentees a mentor normally takes care of - if you're a CILIP mentor reading this, I'd be interested to hear from you.
I thought it would be a good idea to put a few thoughts on this blog, since it's devoted to CPD things. I set it up when I was participating in the "23 Things" initiative. I won't try to cover everything in one posting, so do revisit it.
Meanwhile, I'll repeat what I've said to my mentees already. Do keep a journal of significant achievements, or problems and subsequent solutions. Blog about them if you like - obviously, there's no need to bare your soul publicly if something went pear-shaped and you'd rather it remained private! Keep a record of what you set out to do, how it turned out, whether you got any feedback from colleagues or library patrons, and whether you'd have done anything differently in retrospect. And keep a folder of any handouts, guides or reports you've written - or courses you've attended. It's all 'evidence' for your portfolio. If you've put things online, do keep a list of the hyperlinks. (I use Diigo for favourites, and Academia.edu for my more scholarly outputs - the latter is probably more useful if you're in an academic environment.) If you've written journal articles or book reviews, keep them - and make sure you keep proper bibliographic citations so they can be traced or cited later.
Also - I'm a great one for social media in professional development, so I warmly recommend joining Twitter and following discussions like the #chartership chats that take place on Thursday nights. You get to meet other people following the same journey as yourself, and I hardly need to spell out the benefits of that!!
Sadly, librarianship is full of acronyms. I expect every profession has its share of them, though. If you've stumbled across this and you're not a librarian, here's a quick key:-
CILIP Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
CILIPS is the Scottish branch of CILIP
CPD Continuing professional development (in any profession!)
Diigo.com (and here's mine)
Academia.edu (look me up if you like!)
CILIP chartership wiki
(The wiki is for candidates, so I haven't joined. However, it offers sample portfolios, which I think is a great idea. It takes away some of the fear of the unknown.)