A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘mentoring’

Conference room

MILE Grows Future Minnesota Library Leaders and Networks

Since 2005, future Minnesota library leaders have come together to learn more about leadership styles, library trends and professional network building.

Feature Article

Mentoring Gen-X Librarians

Recent library literature abounds on the subject of recruiting and retaining the profession’s most recent arrivals, the Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000. On the other end of the spectrum, the Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, have also attracted attention as libraries prepare for Boomers to retire over the next ten to fifteen years. Sandwiched in the middle and often overlooked is Generation X, the generation born between 1965 and 1979. At just more than half the size of the Baby Boomer generation, Generation X presents a challenge for all organizations simply because of its smaller size. Who will replace all the retiring Boomers? Libraries will feel this challenge even more keenly because of the typically older age profile of librarians, many of whom entered the profession as a second career or later in life. Indeed, as many as 60 percent of current librarians are predicted to retire by 2025. This situation may be further aggravated by indications of poor retention of Generation X librarians. Poor retention of this generation will clearly exacerbate an already impending library staffing shortage. However, poor retention may also lead to a leadership gap in libraries because Generation X is poised to be libraries’ next generation of leaders and many of the retiring Baby Boomer librarians will vacate leadership and supervisory roles. Thus it is essential that libraries consider retention strategies targeted to Generation X.