Mentoring & Managing Students in the Academic Library

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Most academic libraries could not operate without a host of part-time student workers.  But employing students is different from filling a professional position with an experienced worker; often their library employment will be their first job experience. Since many student positions make them the public face of the library, effective mentoring of such student employees is vital. In this book Reale explores the challenges and opportunities involved in recruitment. Her guide

  • Shows how a library job can be more than just employment, teaching students important responsibilities and life-skills
  • Covers the entire scope of a student's tenure at an academic library, from bringing new hires on board and training them to disciplining student employees and the unpleasant but sometimes necessary task of firing
  • Offers mentoring advice for helping students navigate the cultural contrasts, irregular hours, and other day-to-day issues faced by young people away from home for the first time

With Reale's guidance, supervising academic librarians can effectively mentor students while maintaining an enjoyable, productive workplace that functions efficiently in support of the institution.

  Introduction  1 Mentoring Students in the Library Setting 2 Hiring Students: Not Business as Usual 3 The Nuts and Bolts of Hiring and Training Students 4 Cultural and Other Considerations: Many and Varied 5 Partnering with the Educational Process 6 Engaging Students: The Library as Learning Lab 7 How Students See Their Place in the Library; or, What Is Work, Anyway? 8 Teaching Professional Behavior; or, "Cruel to Be Kind!" 9 Motivation Is a Muscle 10 They Will Carry You Far: Emphasizing Soft Skills 11 When Things Derail (as They Sometimes Will) 12 When All Is Said and Done 13 What a Difference Four Years Makes!; or, The Inevitable Disengagement  Afterword: One Student's Experience Index 

Michelle Reale

Michelle Reale is a professor and access services and outreach librarian at Arcadia University. Her books include Inquiry and Research: A Relational Approach in the Classroom, The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change, Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library, Becoming an Embedded Librarian, and Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice. Her research interests are embedded librarianship, mentoring, narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry, and reflective practice.

"A slim but powerful guide … this is packed with insights recommended not just for library hires, but for any looking to hire and train student workers."
--California Bookwatch

"Highly recommended for all student supervisors."

"Written by an experienced academic librarian in a first-person, narrative style, information is largely based on the author's personal experiences and knowledge; however, featured material is interesting, relevant, and applicable, with a resource list ending each chapter … a good resource for an overlooked area."

"Does an excellent job of showing how each step of the hiring, training, employing, and even firing process can be a learning opportunity ... an easy but very valuable read ... strongly recommended for all academic libraries."
--Journal of Access Services

"The book is useful and enlightening to any librarian tasked with coaching distinctive individuals of varied cultural backgrounds, communication styles, and raisons d' être ... A handbook of ideas, Reale does a great job of reminding librarians that it's okay if we have to be firm and it's okay if we make mistakes, because above all, the largest part of mentoring is letting students know we're human too."
--Journal of Library Innovation

"This book is the first to address mentoring of student assistants in a systematic way, and it fills a gap in the recent literature about mentoring in academic libraries … Reale's management experiences emphasize mentoring as one of librarians' most basic duties: the duty to educate. Her matter-of-fact tone is successful in conveying personnel management information without condescension."
— Reference & User Services Quarterly

"This book is a welcome addition to the literature of personnel management in academic libraries, and the useful information provided in this volume is applicable for any size library and any number of students."
— Australian Library Journal