ACA Mentorship Program
The Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) is pleased to be able to offer a Mentorship Program for new archivists and archival studies students who are ACA members! The program is run by the volunteers of the Membership Committee.
The goal of the ACA Mentorship Program is to facilitate the integration of new archivists into the Canadian archival community by matching them with mentors who may advise and guide them on career and professional development.
Mentors and mentees are matched based primarily on interests. While an attempt is made to match based on geographical location, the archives community in Canada is relatively small and spread out across the country. The majority of mentees are concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, and there are not enough archivists in those areas to match all mentees. However, mentors throughout Canada are able to advise on aspects of the archival profession.
In the summer of 2020, the Membership Committee conducted a survey of former mentors and mentees who had participated in the program over the last five years. More information is also available from the survey results.
Any ACA member who is a student of archival studies, recent graduate of archival studies (within 5 years), or has recently entered the archival profession is invited to sign up for a mentor from the Canadian archival community.
Any ACA Member with a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate experience in the archival/information management field and a commitment to cultivating career development and fostering connections with emerging professionals.
Applications for the 2022 program are now closed.
Every year, the Membership Committee calls for participant applications in the fall. Mentors and mentees are paired by the end of December and officially start in January of the following calendar year. Once matched, the best means and frequency of communication is decided upon between the mentor and mentee.
Mentoring relationships are intended to provide students and new practitioners with a friendly point of contact within the profession and a safe, open dialogue to ask any unanswered questions about archival work and the professional community. Mentees are encouraged to be forthcoming with their questions as well as conscientious that mentors will be responding within the framework of their own schedules. In turn, the role of mentors is to offer advice and feedback on career development any related insight from their own experiences.
The program period is for one year; however, the mentoring relationship may continue if both parties agree. Note that the program also has a limit of a one-time sign up for mentees. At the end of the year, the Membership Committee will solicit program evaluation from participants.
The Mentorship Program Coordinator is also available throughout the year for any questions or feedback from participants.
Since its inception in 2003, the program has been very popular. Some of the recent responses of participants, mentors and mentored alike, are noteworthy:
“It was great! Getting to connect with my mentor gave me someone in my corner who I could go to for advice or help when I didn't have anyone else or know where to start. Absolutely invaluable in helping guide me through my first year at an archival job where, at times, I was the only archivist on site. And a great help in welcoming and orienting me to the archival profession in general as well.” – mentee
“I enjoyed the chats and emails that my mentor and I had. It was a great way to discuss the archival profession and provided an opportunity to network. I cannot thank my mentor enough for all her support during the year!” – mentee
“It was very helpful to have a professional to talk to in an informal setting. It helped me feel more connected to the profession at a time when I was unable to work an archivist.” – mentee
“I had a great experience participating in the Mentorship Program. My mentor regularly provided me with guidance surrounding applying for jobs, volunteering, classes, and the field in general. It was awesome having someone who could provide support and insight during my first year exploring archives.” – mentee
“It's valuable and rewarding to have a regular connection with a recent graduate and early career archivist. Their questions and opportunities for discussion allow for introspection into your own professional practice. Plus it's a networking opportunity--soon a mentee will be an experienced professional at another institution!” – mentor
Any questions about the Mentorship Program, guidelines, or applications may be directed to the Mentorship Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Awareness & Advocacy