What do you think about mentoring relationships on Twitter?
Mentoring has traditionally been viewed as a formal relationship between an experienced person and novice, with the experienced person offering support, encouragement, connections and opportunities for the novice to grow in the profession. However, there are other views of mentoring. Barr (2013) offers an alternative perspective on mentoring:
“In the real world, mentors are usually organic relationships without specific titles, goals or responsibilities. Mentors are most often simply experienced people you get to know and look to for advice, informally and organically. They’re people you go to coffee with, people you ask for guidance, and people you call when there’s a big decision to make.”
So, what are your personal views of mentoring and how Twitter fits (or does not fit) into this model? Please feel free to answer or discuss any of the questions below (you do not have to answer all of them).
What do you think of when people talk about ‘mentoring’?
Does your view of mentoring fit into what you do on Twitter? If so, how? If not, why?
Do you see Twitter as a tool to enable you to form relationships?
If so, what kind of relationships does Twitter allow you to form?
How do you use Twitter to identify interesting people/mentors (in the library and information profession and wider) to follow and learn from?
Have you been mentored by someone on Twitter? Can you think of someone on Twitter you look up to as a mentor?
Are you able to give an example of how you have used Twitter to either mentor/give someone advice, or receive mentorship/advice from someone else?
If you think that Twitter is useful for mentoring, do you think it is more appropriate for a traditional, one-on-one mentoring relationship between an experienced person and a beginner, or a peer-mentoring approach, or a different sort entirely? Why?
Or conversely, do you think that Twitter is perhaps not suited to mentoring or is not an appropriate tool to use in a mentoring relationship? Why?
I’m collecting ideas for a research assignment about mentoring using Twitter, and would love to hear your perspectives (as librarians) of Twitter as a tool to establish and cultivate mentoring relationships. I will collate these findings and talk about the themes that emerge. I will not mention anyone by name or identify them in my research. I will share a summary of the results in a blog post here on the New Professionals NZ website.
There are no geographical limits; I would like to hear from any librarian using Twitter!
You can answer these questions in a number of ways:
- a tweet (or series of tweets) using #TwitMentoring
- a comment on this blog post
- a separate blog post on your blog if you would prefer (but please ping-back to this blog so I can find it :D)
- or via an email to me.
If you have any further questions about my research, please feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing your ideas!
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this topic.