ALN Mentoring Scheme 


Our mentoring scheme launched in November 2022, with two waves taking place in academic year 2022/2023. The first intake began in 2023, with the second wave running during the summer and autumn of 2023.

Following a review at the ALN AGM and Board meeting in November, the success of the scheme encouraged directors to move the scheme from a pilot to part of ALN's standard offer. Recruitment for wave 3 mentees began in January 2024. A further wave will begin later in 2024.

This page provides an outline of the scheme, together with links to fuller details, and the application forms to become a mentor and/or a mentee (see the links at the bottom of the page).

If you have a query about any part of the process, please contact the ALN Development Managers who will forward it on to members of the Mentoring Oversight Group

Take a look at our introductory videos which will help you to understand a little bit more about the scheme - the first from the Chair of the ALN Mentoring Oversight Group (and from the University of Hull Library), Ali Craig and the second from Karen Hickman, a mentoring expert from the Yorkshire Accord and the Coaching Bugwho will be providing the training.


Scope and purpose 

The ALN Mentoring Scheme is voluntary and is open to all staff in the consortium’s member libraries.  
The scheme will dovetail with SCONUL’s mentoring scheme for senior staff.  
The core purpose of the scheme is to support library staff in their professional growth by facilitating mentoring relationships with more experienced colleagues.  
The scheme also aims to support the progression of LGBTQ+ and BAME staff by giving mentees the opportunity to be matched with a mentor from a specific group or background.  
Both partners in the mentoring relationship will learn and gain from the experience, and this in turn will sustain a continuous learning cycle within the Consortium.   

This will be achieved by: 

  • Promoting the ALN scheme as a valuable tool within an individual’s own development portfolio. 
  • Managing a process within which those seeking a mentor can be supported in identifying a suitable partner. 
  • Providing guidance and support for those participating in the ALN mentoring scheme. 
  • Providing opportunities for mentees to be matched with a mentor from a specific background or group. 
  • Monitoring and evaluating the scheme to deliver continuous improvement and demonstrate impact. 


Our objectives are: 

  • To promote mentoring across the ALN community. 
  • To recruit and match mentees with mentors according to the scheme’s eligibility criteria. 
  • To support mentors and mentees in making the most of the partnership. 
  • To enhance the personal and professional growth of mentees through their contribution to the mentoring partnership. 
  • To draw on the learning and experience of mentors for the benefit of mentees and the wider academic library sector in the north. 
  • To develop the scheme through an optional process in which mentees may become mentors in their turn. 
  • To demonstrate the impact of the ALN scheme through continuous monitoring and evaluation. 
  • To maintain awareness of best practice in mentoring and ensure that the ALN scheme continues to meet the highest standards. 

Eligibility criteria 

ALN Mentoring is aimed at non-senior library staff. Senior library staff looking for a mentoring scheme to support progression into leadership roles are encouraged to use the SCONUL mentoring scheme
Mentors should have at least two years’ experience at a level equivalent to or higher than the proposed mentee. Mentors and mentees must be working for an ALN member library to apply to the scheme and have approval from their line manager to take part. 

These eligibility criteria are guidelines, and the ALN Mentoring Oversight Group will use its discretion and common sense when proposing a partnership. 

Key facts

  • We will aim to offer two recruitment campaigns during the pilot year. 
  • Those who apply as mentees are supported for a period of 6 months.  As a guideline, we expect meetings will take place every 4 to 6 weeks for around 90 minutes to 2 hours at a time. 
  • ​We provide overview and induction training for everyone who applies to our scheme, including a mentee briefing and mentoring skills training for mentees and potential mentors respectively.
  • Pairs work together to agree expectations and form an agreement for working. They are responsible for planning the learning agenda and meeting schedule. 

More Details

Apply to be a mentor - to be reopened later in 2024

Apply to be a mentee to be reopened later in 2024

** Please also complete an Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form whether applying to be a mentor or a mentee **

Full scheme guidelines