On March 5th, during one of the first sunny weekends, I was fortunate to be facilitating the annual Speed Mentoring event at the University of the Fraser Valley. Alumni from the Library and Information Technology program gathered to spend their Saturday afternoon back at the school as mentors for soon to be graduates. This was the sixth time the event was co-hosted by the student association (LITSA) and LTAS, with sponsorship generously provided by the UFV Alumni Association.
Seven mentors volunteered their time to thirteen of the program’s current students. For the event this year, the mentors were spread across a couple of rooms at the university; each room was ‘home’ to one to two alumni, and they met with one to two students at a time. While the made time keeping and room switching a slight challenge, it provided a quieter atmosphere for discussions which was beneficial for everyone. People had an opportunity to connect, share stories, provide feedback and advice, and meet others in the library community.
Many library sectors were represented, with alumni having been employed (past or present) in public, academic, school, and health libraries. Their breadth of experience allowed students to learn first hand what some work environments are like, hearing what a day is like or the variety of tasks needed. The students came prepared with questions, and there was an excited buzz around the rooms as people shared their thoughts and experiences.
After the students had a chance to meet with each mentor, everyone reconvened for a chance to mingle and talk a little more informally. This also gave alumni an opportunity to reconnect with each other, and with the LIBIT program advisor Noreen.
Thank you to all the alumni who made it out, the soon to be graduates of the LIBIT program for coming to see us, and to the Alumni Association for their continued support.