Expressions of interest: Mentors for QUT course Law Librarianship: Legal Research

10 September, 2015 at 5:25 PM

The Australian Law Librarians’ Association (ALLA) invites experienced law librarians to serve as mentors to assist with the QUT online course, Law Librarianship: Legal Research, which will run from 29 September – 24 November 2015.

We would like to have a number of mentors who can assist and support the course participants (protégés) with their learning as they are introduced to and become familiar with the range of legal research topics.

The study program will include a series of online meeting 6.00pm ‐8.00pm AEST on Tuesdays) using Blackboard Collaborate, and a range of independent learning activities. There will also be a Facebook site to support informal communication in the learning community. An overview of the course, which will be coordinated by Dr Gillian Hallam, Adjunct Professor at QUT, is provided below.

Being a mentor is a great opportunity for your own professional development (PD) as well as a chance to develop new networks and skills, and contribute to the development of the next generation of law librarians. ALIA PD points apply to mentoring activities: you can accrue 1 point per hour, with a maximum of 30 points per PD year.

Our aim with the mentoring program is to enhance participants’ learning in the Legal Research course.


1) Productive outcomes for protégés – to enable course participants to learn from a more experienced law librarian regarding the practical application of the topics covered in the course

2) Productive outcomes for mentors – to provide mentors with an opportunity to pass on some of their knowledge and experience to newer and aspiring law librarians

3) Productive outcomes for ALLA – to enable ALLA to plan for the next generation of law


4) Productive outcomes for QUT – to provide a ‘real world’ learning experience through contact with industry current practice

Expressions of interest (EOI) should be forwarded to Phil Mullen and Gill Hallam by Monday 21st 2015 of September.

All EOI criteria must be addressed:

  1. ALLA member, involved in ALLA or law librarianship activities
  2. A cover letter (email) briefly stating:
    • Why you want to be a mentor
    • 4‐6 dot points of the skills you believe you can bring to the role of mentor
  3. A brief resumé presenting your experience in law librarianship

Expectations of mentors:

1. Be interested in the professional development of new/aspiring law librarians

2. Be available for up to 2 hours a week to participate in mentoring activities in line with the

mentoring program aim and objectives.

Activities may include:

  • A visit to a library
  • Phone or email ‘conversations’ about practical aspects of your role, professional issues relevant to the course, career development strategies, involvement in professional associations
  • Ideas about how to best approach some of the legal information searching exercises
  • Other activities as relevant to the protégés’ expectations and learning objectives.

Important points about mentoring:

  • Mentoring is a two‐way learning relationship, and there are responsibilities on the part of both mentors and protégés to make the relationship work 
  • You should agree on objectives of the relationship – for both mentors and protégés – it is the mentor’s responsibility to make sure there is a ‘contract’ in place
  • It is critical that you have regular contact, even if it is very brief
  • You should agree on a few ‘ground rules’ from the start, including your contact arrangements, preferred meeting times, any areas that are ‘not for discussion’ (for example, personal work arrangements or situations)
  • We expect that mentors commit for the duration of the course, but if you think the relationship is not working, it’s ok to request that you discontinue, or re‐negotiate terms.

We will suggest ‘matches’ of mentors to course participants (based on geographic location) and will also invite participants to contact mentors through virtual channels.

We ask that you agree to have your name on this list to be given to participants. If you have any questions about the course or the mentoring role, please contact Gill Hallam

Kind regards

Dr Gillian Hallam

Adjunct Professor | Library and Information Science | Science and Engineering Faculty

Queensland University of Technology | GPO Box 2434 Brisbane Qld 4001 | Australia | e: | m: +61 (0) 423 373 547