Mentoring the Way for Future Librarians Who Staff Our Libraries

Christina Diep
Library assistant/MLIS candidate
The Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University
Wenling Tseng
Distance Education Librarian
The Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University


Mentoring library staff who are MLIS candidates provides a unique opportunity for librarians to support the professional development of these students in-house. This presentation highlights the experience and insights of an MLIS candidate receiving cross-training and mentorship in various aspects of academic librarianship, including reference, instructional technology, collection development, and committee service. Time management and workflow issues will be addressed with regard to the staff member’s workload. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share related experiences.


This presentation shares a model of mentorship provided by two librarians for a library assistant/MLIS candidate in a distance education library services department. This past year, the department collaborated on a major overhaul of a LibGuide, serving as an introduction to library resources and services for new distance education students. The project consisted of revising outdated content, creating original content, and producing video tutorials. An opportunity presented itself to mentor and cross-train the future librarian in creating online guides and video tutorials using different instructional technologies. Additionally, the future librarian was cross-trained in collection development and served on a library committee overseeing the planning of a daylong retreat, gaining professional experience with logistical planning, outreach, and program development. Approaches taken to align cross-training and professional development activities with daily workload will be addressed. Recommendations for participants wishing to initiate or enhance mentorship opportunities for MLIS candidates within their institutions will be offered from mentor and protege perspectives.