Stuck? Stymied?  Frustrated? Confused?


If you’re searching for answers to questions about library programs and services in Idaho, check out the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL)


If you’re searching for mentoring or coaching resources, or simply need advice, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to:

The Sounding Board


… your one-stop shop for personal and professional support within the Idaho library community



Journey - First Step | Every journey begins with the first s… | Flickr


The first step in any personal journey is to KNOW YOURSELF.

If you’re new to self-assessment, these are good starting points:


  • Enneagram
  • Myers-Briggs
  • True Colors
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • VIA Survey
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS-II)


Once you know enough about yourself to recognize your tendencies, strengths, and growth opportunities, you might be ready for a mentor! Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide,” which can mean anything from a formal relationship with defined roles, to an informal relationship based on at-need support and open-ended conversations. People often report that mentoring can develop from a formal relationship to an informal one, if you make a strong connection with your mentor. Whatever your preferred flavor, here are several options:



“Defined and directed”


  • Focused and shorter term
  • Roles are clearly defined
  • More common in academic settings


ALA mentoring resources:

ALA Emerging Leaders program: 

LLAMA (one year program):

ALSC mentoring program (services to children) - 




“Find a mentor, be a mentor”


  • Reach out via email, Facebook,Twitter, or LinkedIn
  • Ask for advice
  • Offer support - be approachable


Options include:


Peer mentoring = people roughly the same age and/or experience mentor each other

Co-mentoring = highlights the benefits to both the mentor and mentee

Mentoring up = a junior person mentors a more senior person

E-mentoring = primarily online (social media chats or emails)

Group mentoring = a group is mentored by an individual

Spot mentoring = situational and provisional (at specific points of need)

Mentoring circles = one mentor works with a group or groups that are mentoring each other


  • You’ll gain the most benefits from combining two or more of these methods!


Source: Illinois Library Association


And let’s not forget that we can discover inspiration and support from within!

Here are some tried-and-true development tools to spark your inner flame:




Efficiency and habit forming:


7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

Getting things done by David Allen

Eat that frog! 21 great ways to stop procrastinating by Brian Tracy

The Now Habit: overcoming procrastination by Neil Fiore

Habit Stacking by S.J. Scott

The 80/20 principle: the secret to doing more with less by Richard Koch

The power of habit by Charles Duhigg


Leadership and management:


Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf

The Servanta simple story about the true essence of leadership by James Hunter

Start with why and Leaders eat last by Simon Sinek

Leadership Step by Step : Become the Person Others Follow by Joshua Spodek

Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Good to great by Jim Collins

Walk awhile in my shoes by Eric Harvey

Switch: How to change things when change is hard by Chip Heath

Titles by John C. Maxwell:

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You 
  • The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential
  • Be a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships
  • How successful people think


Self-analysis and self-improvement:


StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Power of positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
The Success Principles: how to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield
Why we do what we do: understanding self-motivation by Edward Deci

The gifts of imperfection by Brene Brown

Mindset: the new psychology of success by Carol S. Dweck
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson


Communication and influence:


Crucial conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high by Kerry Patterson

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

Influence: the psychology of persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini


Other resources


The Collection: eBooks for Idaho Library Staff


  • Blogs
  • TED talks
  • Webinars / seminars / classes
  • ICfL
  • Fred Pryor
  • WebJunction
  • Newsletters
  • Nexis
  • Library Hotline from Library Journal (esp. for directors)
  • Listservs
  • libidaho
  • ARSL
  • Professional and trade journals
  • Public Libraries
  • Library Journal
  • American Libraries
  • For Trustees

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