As our ILN community is aware, we recently closed applications for the next round of our peer mentoring program. There’s a period of two to three weeks between closing applications and sending out emails introducing participants to their new partner. This is an incredibly busy period for us, and it’s what I’m doing as I write this.
The first step in the process is what we call ‘data cleaning’ – going through all our applications and searching for information entered into the wrong field, backcoding some of the information that applicants provided in the ‘other’ fields into existing categories, and in some cases making whole new categories in response to the information provided – this time around we’ve realised we need to add Instagram to the list of social media tools that we ask about, as we’re getting lots of Instagram users signing up to the program!
Processing hundreds of applications to the program means that we have to move through this task fairly quickly – we can’t actually read every application in it’s entirety. But we do read many of them, and I’ve been really enjoying finding out about the variety of libraries around the world, and the generosity of people in our profession who are so eager to share their knowledge and experience with others. I’m reading great stories of mobile libraries, small libraries in cafes, fascinating special libraries, not to mention the number of applicants who are working somewhere other than their home country – real international librarians.
So as I move my way through this process, I’d like to thank all of our applicants for telling us a bit of their story in their applications. One of the benefits of running a program like this is that we get to see information from all around the world, hundreds of stories each round. It’s like having an international peer mentor, but super-charged.
-Alyson Dalby, ILN Director of Business Operations