Some of the best learning advice I received recently was from author Kate Messner who spoke at my state library association conference last spring. She advised us to take advantage of social media as a way to acquire mentors. Amazing revelations: You don’t have to know someone or get a personal invite to learn from them. You can sift through posts, tweets, shares, and videos from so many people in your areas of interest. If you like someone’s ideas, follow them. Use them as a mentor. So simple, so powerful. Isn’t that often the way.
I love to collect new ideas. When I heard George Couros speak this past fall at the New Hampshire Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference I realized that he offered a fabulous network of mindful rabbit holes to travel down and discover new ideas. I picked up a copy of his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, and began my exploration but I kept interrupting myself with tangents. When I saw an opportunity to join a learning group he was facilitating based on his book I figured it was the perfect opportunity. I had already started this blog shortly after the conference as a way to connect to others in education and libraries but I had yet to really prioritize the project. So here I am with a solid starting point and checkpoints along the way as well as a collection of new potential mentors in the group members and guest speakers. One new mentor acquired, and a buffet of new options to explore. Fabulous.
We librarians do like to build collections. People used to think we were collecting books. I tell me students we really collect information. What better source of information is there than people – primary sources of ideas and expertise. Get out there and collect some mentors. Start mining.