Friday, 13 July 2012

Thing 11: Dial M for mentor

'The word “mentor” originates from a reference to Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey. According to the story of the Odyssey, Odysseus had been away for many years on his journey. Therefore, his son, Telemachus, had been deprived of a father figure. So the goddess Athena disguised herself as Mentor and befriended Telemachus and provided him with a role model and encouragement.

Thus, the term mentor came into the language as referring to a supporting role model that is copied and respected in many professions even today.' (1)


Hmmm interesting that the original Mentor was a female, but a female in disguise. 

Mentoring: what a great idea. So great I have two mentors.  One is library-work related, guiding and encouraging me through collecting evidence for my chartership submission, providing fresh ideas and impetus. 

Another mentor is a personal mentor, providing support and some canny advice and insight into my day to day life.  Again a person I can relate to and look up to for her much greater nous, street-sense, and refusal to be cowed by the Us and Them syndrome.

I hope I 'mentor', if ever so slightly, in everyday life, in that I really enjoy people, and encouraging and supporting their individual personalities.  Which is hopefully a little bit of practice for if I ever get asked to be a mentor in a more formal role.

(1) Taken from: Shin Freedman, 'Effective mentoring', IFLA Journal, June 2009, 35(2), p 171-182.  

No comments:

Post a Comment