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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Winter 2001

Conference Reports

STS General Discussion Group

Bryna Coonin
East Carolina University

Kim Lyons-Mitchell
University of the Pacific

The General Discussion Group of STS hosted a session entitled "Mentoring in Science & Technology Libraries" on Saturday January 13, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. in the Cannon Room of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. Approximately 46 conferees attended the session.

Panelists included Jay Bhatt, Information Services Librarian for Engineering at Drexel University's Hagerty Library; Tamika Barnes, Engineering Services Librarian at North Carolina State University Libraries; Nancy Hayes, of the University of Akron and Co-Chair of the STS Continuing Education Committee, and Kathleen "Pix" Fleming, of the Science & Engineering Library at Wayne State University (and past Co-Chair of STS Continuing Ed).

Each of the panelists brought a unique perspective to the topic. Jay Bhatt has been instrumental in developing a mentoring program at Drexel's Hagerty Library and has also been active in creating the Mentoring Task Force for the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. He conveyed enthusiasm for the mentoring process through his presentation and in his answers to the questions from the audience.

Barnes, who holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was a mentee in a formal program co-developed by the librarian at the Vesic Engineering Library of Duke University and later by the senior engineering librarian at North Carolina State University. She credited her mentors with assisting in her successful transition from support staff status to a professional in science librarianship.

Nancy Hayes described the "Collegial Counsel" activities of the STS Continuing Education Committee. She highlighted one key aspect of this valuable resource, the possibility for peer-mentoring, by which established science librarians who are moving into new areas might find support and guidance. She also outlined networking possibilities inherent in Collegial Counsel.

Pix Fleming closed with observations on "informal" mentoring in a science library setting.

Audience comments and questions rounded out this lively discussion.

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