The Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) is pleased to be able to offer a Mentorship Program for new archivists and archival studies students who are ACA members! The program is run by the volunteers of the Membership Committee.
The goal of the ACA Mentorship Program is to facilitate the integration of new archivists into the Canadian archival community by matching them with mentors who may advise and guide them on career and professional development.
Mentors and mentees are matched based primarily on interests. While an attempt is made to match based on geographical location, the archives community in Canada is relatively small and spread out across the country. The majority of mentees are concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, and there are not enough archivists in those areas to match all mentees. However, mentors throughout Canada are able to advise on aspects of the archival profession.
In the summer of 2020, the Membership Committee conducted a survey of former mentors and mentees who had participated in the program over the last five years. For more information about the results of survey, please click here.
Any ACA member who is a student of archival studies, recent graduate of archival studies (within 5 years), or has recently entered the archival profession is invited to sign up for a mentor from the Canadian archival community.
Any ACA Member with a minimum of 5 years of post-graduate experience in the archival/information management field and a commitment to cultivating career development and fostering connections with emerging professionals.
Applications for the 2021 program are open through the Fall 2020 and are closing by November 15, 2020.
Every year, the Membership Committee calls for participant applications in the fall. Mentors and mentees are paired by the end of December and officially start in January of the following calendar year. Once matched, the best means and frequency of communication is decided upon between the mentor and mentee.
Mentoring relationships are intended to provide students and new practitioners with a friendly point of contact within the profession and a safe, open dialogue to ask any unanswered questions about archival work and the professional community. Mentees are encouraged to be forthcoming with their questions as well as conscientious that mentors will be responding within the framework of their own schedules. In turn, the role of mentors is to offer advice and feedback on career development any related insight from their own experiences.
The program period is for one year; however, the mentoring relationship may continue if both parties agree. Note that the program also has a limit of a one-time sign up for mentees. At the end of the year, the Membership Committee will solicit program evaluation from participants.
The Membership Program Coordinator is also available throughout the year for any questions or feedback from participants.
Since its inception in 2003, the program has been very popular. Some of the responses of the participants, mentors and mentored alike, are noteworthy:
“I managed to do volunteer work with my mentor which helped me to build my confidence and apply what I’d learned.” – mentee
“I have been telling my classmates who didn’t sign up for the program that they missed a good opportunity.” – mentee
“I wish I had this program when I first started working in archives.” – mentor
“This has been a really positive experience – my mentor and I have been in contact several times, and I am very comfortable approaching him with questions, and asking for advice.” – mentee
Any questions about the Mentorship Program, guidelines, or applications may be directed to the Membership Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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