Buddying Scheme Trumpets 2 Years of Success Stories

Jane Mortimer, DMU

After two successful years, the Collaboration's buddying scheme is looking for more people to become involved, as it continues to forge new links between regional library staff.

Launched at the 2017 Mercian Conference, the Collaboration’s Buddying Scheme has now been running successfully for over two years. Since its inception, 22 library colleagues from across the Midlands region have participated in the scheme, benefiting from the great opportunity to share practice and exchange experiences with peers based at another member institution.

The Buddying Scheme, which is freely available to library staff at all levels across all 23 member institutions, is facilitated by the Mercian Staff Development Group on behalf of the Collaboration itself. Intended to provide a 6-month period of support and insight for staff new to a role, as well as those wanting to gain new perspectives on their area of work, the scheme has thrived thanks to its informality and low administrative overheads for participants. In short, it’s easy to register, and the benefits are considerable.

While the Buddying Scheme is open for those seeking a buddy to guide them, those who feel able to provide support to other library staff members can also register. Registration is free, and personal information is handled confidentially under the Collaboration’s data privacy policy.

Buddying Experiences

Here’s what some recent scheme participants have to say about their involvement:

“The buddy scheme is a great way to learn from those who have been in the role for some time.”

“It is good to share experiences and learn from other institutions approaches.”

“Knowing how other institutions work, is very useful. We used a 'show and tell' type of practice, taking a topic or two each session. Then for each topic we showed each other how we go about the task or process, and learnt lessons from each other.”

The more experienced buddy can benefit too.

“I found the scheme both useful and enjoyable and I feel I got a lot out of it personally. It was rewarding to see how much my colleague appreciated the time I spent with her and how she increased in confidence over the period of time we met together.  The feedback and appreciation I got from her was also fantastic for my self-confidence and taught me that that I do know what I’m doing and that all my experience does count for something!”

Getting Involved!

Further details are available at online (https://merciancollaboration.org.uk/sdg/buddying-scheme), or by contacting the MSDG Chair (Matt Cunningham (M.S.Cunningham@lboro.ac.uk) or the Collaboration's Development Officer (mercianlibrariescollaboration@gmail.com),