Countless individuals devote their time to ensuring that New York’s heritage is preserved. DHPSNY’s Mentorship Program is designed to help these individuals expand their archival and preservation expertise and meet professional goals.

DHPSNY’s Mentorship Program will create an inclusive community that will serve the needs of all who care for the unique library research materials and archival collections in the state of New York – volunteers, interns, students, as well as new or emerging professionals. Unlike the traditional one-on-one mentorship model, our program will establish mentorship circles, allowing individuals to serve as both a mentor and a mentee, and welcome those seeking to engage in both roles. Mid-career professionals may sometimes struggle to fit into the traditional mentorship model, serving as a mentor while still seeking mentorship themselves. Likewise, volunteers often feel like they do not fit into these one-on-one relationships, as their needs are not to set professional goals and find job opportunities, but rather expand their understanding of how best to care for their collections.

DHPSNY's Mentorship circles will consist of four to six individuals at varying points in their career, including students, new and emerging professionals, established practitioners, and volunteers. The make-up of the mentorship circles will be determined based on either location or interests, depending upon each individual’s needs. Rolling applications for participation in mentorship circles will be reviewed biannually.

Once established, each circle will meet once a month, virtually or in-person, for a six-month period. In addition to these meetings, participants will be encouraged to participate in an in-person Mentorship Mixer (if geographically feasible). Participants will also be encouraged to interact with others through DHPSNY’s dedicated forum for Mentorship.

Applications for DHPSNY's first Mentorship round closed in July 2017. The next application period will be announced in early 2018.

DHPSNY will be in contact in early August to introduce you to your mentorship circle. Circles established in this cycle will meet from August to February.

General Questions

What are the requirements?

DHSPNY serves cultural institutions throughout the state of New York, including archives, libraries, historical societies, and museums, that operate programs to preserve and make accessible records of enduring value. Volunteers, interns, and employees of these organizations are eligible to take part in DHPSNY’s mentorship circles, as are students pursuing library and archival studies in New York State. 

What does participation in a mentorship circle entail?

By taking part in DHPSNY’s Mentorship Program, you are committing to meeting monthly with your circle for a six-month period. As a group, you may also decide to meet more regularly or communicate with each other via other platforms. Each circle will be assigned a “Captain,” responsible for coordinating your circle’s meetings. If you are interested in serving as a Circle Captain, you will have the opportunity to do so on the application form.

Discussion within the circles should focus primarily on topics relevant to improving an individual’s capacity to collect, preserve, and provide access to collections. Each group will have participants with varying experiences, and our hope is to provide a platform for guidance, whether for collections care advice, networking, or resume assistance. Within your circle, we ask that you engage in a polite and professional manner. The goal of the circle is to create an inclusive community that supports individuals who provide care for collections, regardless of previous training.

How and when do circles meet?

Circles that are established during this application period will commit to meeting once a month, either virtually or in-person, August 2017 through February 2018. DHPSNY will make an effort to establish circles based on location to facilitate in-person meetings, but please recognize that this may not be feasible. For groups that meet virtually, there are a variety of ways to meet – including Google Hangouts and Skype – and DHPSNY is happy to help you find the right means for your group.

DHPSNY will also host in-person Mentorship Mixers for those taking part in the program. These events are a perfect opportunity to meet with your circle and other program participants.

What happens at the end of six months?

After the initial six months, we hope that you’ve found a great group of like-minded individuals and that you’ll continue to keep in touch! As the program progresses, we will look for ways to support circles that continue to meet after the initial period. If you are unable to take part after the six month period, you will no longer be expected to meet with your circle. 

What happens if I don’t like my circle?

DHSPNY recognizes that not all circles will work. We do ask that you commit to meeting with your circle for six months in order to give participants an opportunity to get to know one another and establish a relationship. If, at the end of the six-month period, you find that you are not grooving with your circle, you are welcome to reach out to DHPSNY and make arrangements to join a new circle in the coming cycle.

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