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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

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

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

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”

ALA mentoring resources:

ALA Emerging Leaders program: 

LLAMA (one year program):

ALSC mentoring program (services to children) - 


“Find a mentor, be a mentor”

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

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 Servant: a 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:

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