Buddying Benefits

Steve Parton - Mercian Staff Development Group
Wordcloud for the Mercian Buddying Scheme

Read on for more information about our Mercian buddying scheme and its benefits.

Our buddying scheme has been quietly growing since its relaunch last year, with over 20 people signed up and 36 colleagues who have volunteered to offer guidance as buddies! But we’d love to expand it further and shout out about it to the rooftops to all of you! So, here’s a bit more information to hopefully pique your interest...

The scheme is a free, informal peer-to-peer support arrangement, where individuals are paired up with a relevant member of staff from a different Mercian institution, with the more experienced individual providing a listening ear, while offering advice and insight.

Buddying is designed to be light-touch, flexible and hopefully mutually beneficial to all participants. Meetings are relatively short (no more than 2 hours). Therefore, you can fit them around your working day, and they can be held entirely online or over the phone, unless both buddies feel it would be beneficial. It’s not a long-term commitment either: normally being a buddy will last around 6 months but can be shorter if that suits both participants and the development needs of the participant have been met. Colleagues can be at any stage of their career to sign up for a buddy too, so don’t feel this is only for people new to information work.

It’s not just beneficial for the individual receiving advice. I have been a buddy to a colleague at another University and have found the experience really helped me to gain a wider understanding of how things operate at other institutions and in a different department to my own. Plus, it has been rewarding to impart some of my own experience to a colleague interested in academic liaison and information literacy.

Don’t just take my word for it though! Below are some testimonials from colleagues across the Mercian Collaboration:

“The Mercian Staff Development group matched me with a librarian from […University]. She has wide-ranging experience working in libraries and has proved to be an excellent buddy. We meet online every couple of months to discuss challenges and wins we had at work. We can talk through our ongoing projects, exchange knowledge and share valuable contacts for future collaborations. I would highly recommend the scheme and it’s flexible so you can choose how often you meet and what topics you discuss.”

“Being new to libraries but having worked in university research environments the Buddying Scheme has really helped me get to grips with my new role. My buddy has been so generous with her time and knowledge and her support has been invaluable.” 

Want to find out more about this exciting scheme? Read on here:

Registration is free, and personal information is handled confidentially under the Collaboration’s data privacy policy.


Steve Parton, Information and Digital Services, Keele University
On behalf of the Mercian Staff Development Group


Wordcloud generated by Ruth Jenkins, based on keywords in the above text, using https://www.freewordcloudgenerator.com/