Attention, staff:

Have you attended training, but just haven’t had much opportunity to practice or staff the desk?

Are you trying to staff… but still feel a little like a fish out of water?

Would you like someone to help you apply your knowledge and skills to the exciting world of virtual reference?

Since its debut in 2009, the Ask a Librarian Mentoring Program has helped others just like you.  From live, one-on-one guidance during actual patron chats to anytime-emails of reassurance or feedback and support, your mentor will work with you to meet your individual goals in chat reference on Ask a Librarian.

Who is an Ask a Librarian Mentor?

Ask a Librarian Mentors are librarians, just like you, who have experience working with real patrons in live chat through Ask a Librarian. Your mentor is there to share his or her knowledge, experiences, and wisdom in conducting chat reference and using the Ask a Librarian InstantService software. Your mentor’s foremost goal is to help you – to encourage your comfort, growth, and achievement in a warm, supportive environment.  Who can beat that?!

What will I learn?

Your mentor will help you to navigate successfully through the InstantService software (such as pushing nifty Web pages to patrons), to feel more comfortable utilizing online resources that help you – and your patron – during chats, tips on building and maintaining patron rapport from their own personal experiences, and more.

How does it work?

We’ll find you your very own ‘seasoned pro’.  Your Ask a Librarian Mentor will work with you to establish a plan of action that best fits your needs and schedule.  Some mentors even prefer to work evenings and/or weekends – so chances are great that we can find someone whose availability matches yours.  From emails and phone calls to practice sessions and real-time assistance during actual patron chats, your mentor is there to help you succeed!

Where do I start?

Interested?  Fill out this form to become a mentee:  or email me for more information.  What do you have to lose, but maybe a little anxiety or fluttering stomach?  Virtual reference experience builds your professional growth and your experience portfolio, so take advantage of your peers’ generosity and increase your skill & comfort levels in Ask a Librarian.