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LET'S TALK LIBRARIES

A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

Announcing OLA Mentor Match 

The OLA Mentoring Committee is thrilled to announce the launch of a new matching tool for OLA members, OLA MentorMatch. The mentoring function is one component of LearnHQ, developed by SOLS as a joint project with OLS-North and OLA.  It is funded through a one-time $15.0 million grant from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport.   

What is it all about?  Among its standing committees, OLA’s Mentoring Committee organizes a range of programs and services to assist in career development across all library sectors.  This includes:

  • running the OLA Career Centre at Superconference at which resume critiquing and mock interviews are provided
  • working with schools such as Western and Durham College on interview skills
  • providing a mentor matching service through which mid and senior career library staff provide advice, guidance, and act as sounding boards for those newer to the field.

This matching process had been laboriously and lovingly managed by committee volunteers ‘by hand.’  So when it was introduced to the LearnHQ mentoring software, the committee hoped it had found its own perfect match.  Of course, nothing is perfect. Not to mention that any automated system can only do what humans tell it to do. The committee, with the guidance of Rosanne Renzetti from SOLS, invested time and energy into determining the matching protocols, so that the system could do what it was intended to.  We found that in the past, many decision had been made intuitively, which of course doesn’t work for software! 

Now the system is live and we are monitoring its workings, and most important, double-checking points at which human intervention is needed to ensure all is on track and that participants are provided with a rewarding experience.   But there is one critical element for success that the system and the committee cannot do.  We need more mentors!!! 

For more information, visit the OLA Mentoring website.

To create your profile, please visit LearnHQ and click on “MentorMatch