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Are you mentoring or coaching? Definitions matter

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journal contribution
posted on 11.01.2021, 22:53 by L Hussey, Jennifer Campbell-Meier
© The Author(s) 2020. New library and information science professionals, without previous experience in information organizations, are often left adrift, unsure how to apply theory or best practice to a new work environment. To bridge this gap, mentoring and coaching opportunities are often employed (or mandated) to provide new practitioners with required skills, knowledge, or networking. There are opportunities to harness implicit and explicit learning through experiences and interactions through mentoring and coaching. Definitions of mentoring and coaching in the profession are often used interchangeably when discussing the growth and development of an individual. This leads to the following questions: How do librarians define both mentoring and coaching? How do mentoring and coaching relate to professional development? To address the research question, 47 semi-structured interviews were conducted with librarians in Canada, New Zealand, and the United States between 2015 and 2016. Participants were asked about their mentoring and coaching experiences. During the interviews, participants were asked questions about their experiences as a mentor or mentee. In addition, participants were asked to define both “mentoring” and “coaching.” The authors used an inductive approach to data analysis, and interviews were coded by category.


Preferred citation

Hussey, L. & Campbell-Meier, J. (2020). Are you mentoring or coaching? Definitions matter. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 096100062096665-096100062096665.

Journal title

Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

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SAGE Publications

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ARTN 0961000620966651