The purpose of this study was to comprehensively review the best practices and current trends for mentoring programs in academic libraries.
The authors conducted a scoping review of the existing literature on academic library mentoring programs. The following sources were searched to identify relevant studies: ERIC, Education Research Complete (Ebsco) LISA, Library & Information Sciences Source (Ebsco), Scopus, the TRIP database, Web of Science and the grey literature.
Among 802 unique abstracts, 42 studies reporting on 40 unique programs were selected for inclusion in this review. Of these, 28 programs were specifically designed to facilitate the development of junior or untenured librarians. Common program elements included participant input into mentor/mentee selection, written guidelines, mentor training, and senior administration support. Notably, only 18 authors (42.8 percent) reported on program evaluation methods and outcomes.
Despite the prevalence of the literature that exists on this topic, mentorship programs in academic libraries have been insufficiently explored. Rigorous and ongoing evaluation is required to determine the importance of mentoring programs to the career development of academic librarians, and identify design elements critical to their success.