SLA Taxonomy Division Mentoring Programs
The Taxonomy Division offers three separate mentoring programs:
- A list of frequently asked questions to answer common questions of new taxonomists
- A directory of new taxonomists (protégés) seeking mentorships
- A directory of experienced taxonomists offering mentoring services
The FAQs attempt to answer all common questions those interested in working in the field of taxonomies may have. Short answers are publicly available. Longer, detailed answers are accessibly only to Taxonomy Division members via external links to our wiki website. Division members are also encouraged to post additional questions on our wiki website FAQs New Questions page (accessible to members only), which our editors will answer and re-post here..
Taxonomy Division members who seek more experience and mentoring feedback on internship-like projects may list their names and contact information. We are calling them Protégés.
Protégés are those with some training/education in taxonomies/thesauri but no or limited work experience and those who desire more work experience for their resume. It is expected that Protégés will work in temporary internship-like arrangements, either pro bono or at below-market subcontractor rates, for limited term projects, in exchange for constructive feedback from the Mentor. Due to the limited number of anticipated projects, location should not usually be a limitation, so most projects should be of the nature to be done remotely. Access to the listing page is public. Thus, those who are not Taxonomy Division or SLA members may contract Protégés. But only members can become Protégés.
The Mentoring Committee:
- does not screen directory listed members or those who contact them, so those contacting individuals on the list should screen them for their ability to perform basic taxonomy work.
- will not be involved in the negotiations between parties nor make rules
- requests that when a Protégé gets contacted through the directory, the Protégé should inform the Mentoring Committee, so that the Committee may track the effectiveness of the program.
- promotes the directory to give exposure for those seeking mentorships or internships.
3. Directory of Mentors (link to the wiki website with access restricted to members)
Taxonomy Division members who are experienced taxonomists and are willing to volunteer their services as Mentors may list their names and contact information on a page restricted in access to Taxonomy Division members.
Mentors should be willing to offer mentoring services in any of the following types of arrangements:
- The Protégé has a project and seeks advice from a Mentor.
Mentors provide brief (such as half an hour to an hour) complimentary feedback on a taxonomy, with any additional time negotiated (free or paid). Mentors are not obliged
to accept all requests for mentoring if they are busy.
- The Mentor has a project and offers a closely supervised subcontracting arrangement with a Protégé.
The Mentor will negotiate a subcontracting rate with the Protégé below industry standards for subcontracting in exchange for giving a considerable amount of constructive feedback. If the Mentor works in a nonprofit organization, the project could be unpaid. If the Mentor and Protégé get along well and there is sufficient ongoing work, the relationship could last a long time and evolve.
- The Mentor is available to answer career questions, give guidance, share experience, etc. for an individual Protégé without a specific taxonomy project.
This can become on-going relationship as the Protégé’s career progresses. The on-going relationship goes beyond the basics of what is included on the detailed FAQ answers, and it could include calls or email between the Mentor and the Protégé
The Mentoring Committee:
- will not be involved in the negotiations between parties nor make rules on project duration or rate
- requests that a Protégé who seeks a Mentor inform the Committee of the response of the Mentors they have contacted.