Document Type


Publication Title

Illinois Library Association Annual Conference

Publication Date



team building, partnership and collaboration, community, organizational development, leadership, management, staff development, mentorship program


Starting a new job is overwhelming! New employees can feel isolated and disconnected without concerted effort by library colleagues, limiting their ability to create meaningful partnerships.  Milner Library grappled with these challenges when a cohort of new employees arrived in summer 2020. Milner’s new mentoring program began to organize a series of virtual information sessions to increase awareness of different library departments. In the Getting to Know Milner series, presenters highlighted partnerships and the interconnectedness of library activities. Collaborators in the audience were able to see the value of their work reflected in their colleagues' presentations. These sessions illustrated the importance of the library as a community and the merit of a unified approach. Library work extends beyond individual departments. This series emphasized that one’s place in a library is in many places. Interdepartmental conversations have increased, which is beginning to bridge longstanding gaps. The informal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with fruitful participation and attendance. Both new and long-time employees have connected with their colleagues and have gained a deeper appreciation for what makes their library unique. At the heart of it, this series has built a stronger community at Milner Library.


The presentation was given at the Illinois Library Association 2022 Annual Conference: At the Heart of It.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.