OLA Mentor Match

mentor-match_squareThe Ontario Library Association Mentoring Program strives to link working library staff with students, new graduates and other library staff interested in a career in libraries and related fields. The duration of the mentoring relationship is a minimum of six months. In some cases, this may last longer depending on the mentor and mentee. The program is intentionally open-ended so that participants can design the mentorship according to their own needs and interests.


Program Objectives:

  • Provide guidance about professional development, education and training
  • Assist with career development, exploration and advancement
  • Provide mentees with opportunities to network and make professional connections
  • Assist with job search strategies and provide resume/cv critiquing
  • Support the introduction of new members into OLA and the profession

What is a mentor?

  • A member of the Ontario Library Association to participate in the program
  • An experienced (three or more years) library staff member who voluntarily offers advice and guidance
  • Possesses significant experience in areas related to the library field
  • Someone who is willing to share experience and advice to assist the mentee to achieve success

Role/Expectations of the Mentor:

  • Decide on regularity, frequency, and method of contact e.g. face-to-face, phone, email, etc.
  • Be a good listener and respect confidentiality
  • Show a willingness to listen and communicate with the mentee
  • Provide guidance, offer relevant advice and give feedback to the mentee when required
  • Introduce the mentee to professional networks
  • Help the mentee explore career development opportunities
  • At times refer the mentee to others who might have specific knowledge they seek

The mentor is not responsible for:

  • Finding the mentee a job
  • Giving personal counseling
  • Providing daily job advice

Qualifications for mentors – Mentors should:

  • Have good interpersonal skills
  • Be open-minded, understanding and patient
  • Be trustworthy, supportive, advising and encouraging
  • Recognise and help develop mentees’ strengths
  • Recognise when mentees need guidance and when they need to be independent

What is a mentee?

  • A member of the Ontario Library Association to participate in the program
  • A person who would like professional advice and guidance from an experienced library mentor
  • Someone entering or in the early stages of their career, or someone seeking to change direction within the profession

Role/Expectations of the Mentee

  • Decide on regularity, frequency and method of contact e.g. face-to-face, phone, email, etc.
  • Discuss with the mentor the goals for the mentoring relationship (eg. review resume, interview tips)
  • Respect the confidentiality and advice the mentor offers
  • Be punctual and keep all appointments or communicate in advance in the event of a cancellation

Who can join?

  • Anyone with an active OLA membership
  • When filling out a profile, anyone with three or more years of work experience can choose to be a mentor, a mentee, or both
  • Those with less than three years of experience will only be given the option to be a mentee

How does it work?

  1. You need to have an account in LearnHQ to access the partnership program.
    • If you work in a Public Library
      • Most public library staff already have a username and password for LearnHQ.
      • Your username is your email.
      • If you don’t know your password, click on Login, then use the “Forgot Password” link to reset your password.
    • All other OLA Members
      • You will need to create a LearnHQ account to access the MentorMatch system.
      • To do so, click on Login, then on the “Signup” button. For member type, choose “Other – Academic, School, Special…).
      • Select your library name from the “College, University, Public, School, Other” list.
      • You will be contacted by email once your account is activated.
  2. You will be contacted by email once your account is activated. Please allow 1-2 business days for activation.
  3. When your account is active, login to LearnHQ.
  4. Click on MentorMatch in the top right corner of your screen. Fill out your user profile, which includes questions about yourself and your work experience, such as:
    • Professional focus – This is your current library type or the sector you would like to learn more about (e.g. College, University, Public, School, Other)
    • Your Location
    • Years of work experience
    • For those who are employed, we ask you to provide your institution, so we can avoid matching you with someone from your own workplace
    • Supervisory experience, if any
    • Skills (Optional)- Mentors choose the skills they would like to share, and Mentees list the skills they would like to enhance. Skills include Communication, Career Guidance, Leadership/Management, Business Knowledge, and Project Management skills. This section is optional.
    • Other relevant information – There is an optional field for any additional information that you feel might help you find a match
  5. Your application(s) will be approved as long as you are an active member of OLA. You will get a separate email confirmation of your approval for each type of role (e.g. mentor, mentee) that you choose.
  6. Once you are approved, the system then uses an algorithm to automatically match you to potential mentors/mentees based on your profile. Professional focus, geographic location, and years of work experience carry the most weight in the algorithm.
  7. You will receive an email when a potential partnership is found. By logging into LearnHQ and clicking on the MentorMatch link, you can review the list of suggested mentor and/or mentee relationships. After reviewing the individual’s profile, you may then “Request a Partnership.” Both mentor and mentee have to sign-off on a Mentoring Agreement before proceeding with the partnership.
  8. Once the partnership is established, the mentor is responsible for establishing contact using the email and phone numbers listed in the mentee’s profile. After the initial contact, you should decide on the regularity, frequency and method of contact e.g. face-to-face, phone, email, etc. You may also use the MentorMatch site to upload shared documents.
  9. Mentors/mentees are matched for six months.


For any questions about the program, please contact olamentoring@gmail.com
For all technical issues, please contact support@learnhq.ca.