Mentoring for library managers in Norway by Almuth Gastinger

The Norwegian Union of Librarians (BF), one of the library associations in Norway, launched a mentoring programme for library managers in September 2019.

All library managers in Norway can participate, whether they are member of BF or not. The programme intends to strengthen relations across library types, contribute to the exchange of experiences, provide possibilities for continuous professional development, and have a positive impact on the development of librarianship.

BF will arrange meetings/talks between managers who are at different stages of their professional career. That means, if you are a rather new manager you will meet an experienced manager and vice versa. The mentee himself/herself (person who wishes to be mentored) can suggest up to three mentors.

There are the following expectations of participants:

  • You want to develop yourself.
  • You are open and receptive for input.
  • You are capable of reflecting on your own challenges.
  • You will prioritise the programme entirely.
  • You commit yourself to 6-8 meetings/talks per year.

BF’s secretariat will support mentors and mentees if needed. It is recommended to use the guiding templates by Difi (Norwegian Agency for Public Management and e-Government) for the talks between mentor and mentee. These talks should last at least one hour, and the participants can either meet in person or online.

BF has also come up with the following possible topics to discuss:

  • Planning and executing a task.
  • Your role as a manager/leader.
  • A difficult conversation.
  • Your career.
  • Leadership requirements and management styles.
  • How to get through / be met with approval.
  • Your role within the management team.
  • Your role as a colleague/co-worker.
  • Interaction and co-operation with various colleagues.
  • How to maintain commitment/motivation.
  • Your strengths and weaknesses as a manager.
  • How to promote change.

If you have questions about this programme, you can contact programme co-ordinator and BF board member Linda Rasten at [email protected] or BF’s secretariat at [email protected]