IRRTs Mentorship Program and the experiences I have gained from My mentor _ By Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian at Hawassa University, Ethiopia

It is apparent that networking is the lifeblood of professional librarians, librarians worldwide can establish networking links for a better opportunities, cooperation, and brainstorming through ILNP, therefore, International Librarians Networking Program should be taken seriously by librarians because of the important outcomes involved, accordingly, as librarian here from Hawassa University, Ethiopia:

Thank you to International Relations Round Table/IRRT/ for Your Mentorship & Networking Program- From Mulugeta W/TSadik, Librarian in Hawassa University@Sidama National Regional State, Ethiopia

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Mulugeta W/Tsadik (mwlibrarian@hu.edu.et) I am a member & participant within the International Librarians Networking Program (ILNP) & a partner with a professional expert named Gwen M. Gregory (ggregory@uic.edu) who shares her experiences and knowledge & exchange ideas with me as a mentor in the area of librarianship in order that I have to be motivated and initiated to create partnership & collaborations with international professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, in addition,  I would like to address my thanks to my mentor for the reason that she has instructed me in order to acquaint myself with the works of R. David Lankes (Scholar|Speaker|Writer|Teacher|Advocate). I have been familiar with and impressed with his works; I hope his works will help me to get out of my box in a radical manner in the line of my librarianship profession. Here is an interesting quote and an excerpt from one of his books entitled “THE ATLAS OF NEW LIBRARIANSHIP”:

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Front Cover of the Book
Capture mission

Navigating the Future

“As Israel Zangwill, the English writer once wrote:

The Past: Our cradle, not our prison; there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition.

The nobility of librarianship is found in schools where library media specialists prepare our future in the children they teach. It is the government librarian who preserves freedom in the halls of political power. The nobility of librarians can be seen in corporate offices, Hospitals, Law firms, Departments of Transportation, and Colleges & Universities throughout the world. Although it has been cloaked in an air of service and hidden away behind quaint and romantic stereotypes, it is time for that nobility to shine and to be brought into clear focus for our communities.

There is a theme that pervades this atlas. It is navigation. This is not merely a convenient metaphor or simple literary conceit. Rather, it emerges from the dynamic nature of the topic. Librarians are on a journey that started literally millennia ago and continues to this day. It is a journey that will continue for centuries to come—so long as we don’t lose our way. In any journey, there are milestones—key moments that allow us to stop and review our course.

As the web explodes, the world economy stumbles, the newspaper industry implodes, the media landscape fragments and societies around the world face social unrest, librarians have not only an opportunity but an obligation to find their center and the means to continue a centuries-long mission to use knowledge to better understand the past, make a better today, and invent an ideal future

Your nobility comes from a mission no less than the preservation and improvement of society. Our nobility is not found in collections, walls, organizational structures, or even in our history—it is found in our actions. The nobility of librarianship is earned every day by the dedicated action of thousands of individuals around the globe.”

Importance of Professional Networking

Networking helps for greater success in librarianship and thus is given serious attention for the librarians to succeed in this digital age. Interaction and brainstorming are some of the importance of networking.

As librarians interact, and brainstorm, skills are learned and developed, and problems bordering individuals (librarians) and libraries at large are solved leading to the preferment of solutions which would, in turn, lead to the achievement of goals. The achievement of goals in any organization is the target and happiness that keeps an organization alive because results are delivered, networking breaks information isolation when people meet, and information is shared, goodwill and cooperation are created.

Networking according to Barnes is what is intended to break information isolation. And in this task, people are involved. There is interaction, knowledge is shared, and there is exposure to the ideas unknown and so on. Therefore, after going through works by various authors on networking, the researcher came up with a tree diagram of the importance of networking:

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The librarian is the driver of the networking activities in the library. He (librarian) is referred to as the ‘tap root’ because the tap root is a long straight main nutrient-storing root of a plant that gives the plant life. And the librarian, pilots all that happens in the library and the life wire of the University. It is from the tap root that the smaller lateral roots (networking) develop, which allows growth. The growth as mentioned earlier on, are the branches that grow out of the trees.

What will make the librarians succeed in networking?

1. Mindset –Mindset is a critical factor in networking if somebody must succeed. The librarians’ mindset will be such that will be focused and recognize networking as important, and not a waste of time
2. Sense of cooperation – the librarians must have a sense of cooperation or goodwill to keep the group going.
3. Participation – there must be active participation for networking to be successful and fruitful, so as to yield goals on why it was formed.
4. Targeting the challenges – networking is the building and maintaining of relationships with a wide range of individuals, groups, or institutions who share common interests, goals, and expertise all to tackle challenges that border them. To meet these challenges successfully librarians need to target the challenges through networks of other colleagues.
5. Respect – respect for one another in a group is important. Members of a network look to each other for advice, tips, instructions, contributions, and solutions for issues. Every individual is entitled to his or her own opinion or contribution, whether right or wrong should be welcomed with respect.

Author: Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional at Hawassa University, Ethiopia [21st Century LIS Network: Information_Knowledge Retrieval & Dissemination Platform]

Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional @ Hawassa University, , Sidama Region, Ethiopia

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