The Hong Kong Library Association (HKLA) has been the core organization serving the library and information science (LIS) community in Hong Kong since its establishment 62 years ago. It organizes activities and events continually to enrich professional knowledge of LIS professionals in Hong Kong. It has been observed that the number of student members has risen constantly in recent few years. In view of the pressing demand for better support to student members, the HKLA launched the Mentoring Program in 2013 to enhance informal communication between student members and other members of the Association. The Mentoring Program received an overall positive feedback from the local LIS community and made a positive impact to participants, especially mentees. Apart from the successful experience of this program, there are issues that can be improved in sustaining this program in long term. This paper summarizes the experience of implementing the Mentoring Program in the first two years and identifies the challenges and opportunities ahead. The finding indicates that the Mentoring Program was a well-received professional development program for the student members of the Association. However, this program can be further enhanced in terms of mentor solicitation, mentor-mentee eligibility, mentor-mentee relationship, knowledge-based interaction, and program sustainability. The Program Committee may consider collaborating with other LIS agencies to solicit more potential mentors. In view of the population of the potential mentors, it makes very good sense for the past mentees to serve as peer-to-peer partners for non-degree student members. More incentive should be devised to encourage the mentoring pairs in joining library events in addition to the activities related to the Mentoring Program. To facilitate communication and experience sharing among program participants and HKLA members, it is desirable to set up an online discussion platform to address the increasing demand for more opportunities on this. Lastly, it is vital to improve communication among the Program Committee, HKLA Council members and HKLA members. Besides reviewing the operation and management of the Mentoring Program, the Program Committee should also study the feasibility of sustaining this program in the long run. This paper can be served as an empirical study on the implementation of library and information science mentoring programs in one of the major cities in Asian region. The results of the study can be referenced by the LIS community not only locally but also internationally.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Library and Information Sciences
- Hong Kong Library Association
- mentoring program
- professional development