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Caring Networks: Reflections on Our OLA MentorMatch Experience

By Caleb Domsy and Mi Yoon

Mi Yoon – Mentee

Before I began the University of Toronto Master of Information program, I did not realize how small the library world was.  Unfortunately, I began my studies during the pandemic and did not get to know my classmates, so I was unable to create relationships or develop my network during this time. As a relatively recent graduate, I began sending out resumes weekly, but I was not receiving any calls. I got discouraged quickly.  While I had success last year, unfortunately, I have not had the same success this year.  When I received the OLA Mentor/Mentee email, I signed up for it.

I was lucky because my mentor, Caleb, helped me improve my resume and expand my network. In my meetings with Caleb, I mentioned that I was interested in public libraries and, as luck would have it, he had connections. I met Sarah Gauthier, at the Hamilton Public Library and learned more about public libraries.  Our conversation reinforced my interest to work in public libraries.  Through conversations with Caleb, I learned to use the different business databases through his LibGuides, which is a great help when I apply for jobs and when I assist students in my current contract position.       

I think this is an excellent program  for anyone to get the help and support they need to secure full-time employment in the Library field. While I was working at McMaster, I encouraged our co-op student to join the OLA and use the Mentor/Mentee program.  I told our co-op about how it is difficult to find a job.  Joining the Mentor/Mentee program has helped me with my job search and preparation, and also helped grow my network. 

 With each contract placement, I try to continue to grow my network. As I have not had a chance to work in a public library, which is my goal, I am fortunate that Caleb has connections to public librarians, thereby growing my network. My goal is to eventually acquire a full-time position in a public library. 

Caleb Domsy – Mentor

I have participated in the Mentor Match Program on a few occasions as I enjoy meeting  new librarians and welcoming them into the profession. It also allows me to reflect on my own luck as I think about how I ended up a Business Librarian at Humber College. I have had so many mentors in my career — official and unofficial — that I love the idea of being there for someone else.

Getting to know Mi has been wonderful, and she has a lot to offer the profession. A lot of our early work has focused on making small changes to her CV and cover letter, and it has been great to introduce Mi to friends I made at the iSchool. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to go to school during COVID —. I owe all my connections and serendipitous job opportunities to being in the right place at the right time. It must be so hard to have missed those opportunities during lockdowns.

As our time together evolves, I see myself as a cheerleader—someone in her corner as she faces the challenges of a precarious job market. Being a mentor, I have learned that I can’t waive a magic wand to get my mentee the career they want, and that the job search process can be truly daunting after graduation. I find it hard to hold space for those challenging feelings without wanting to fix or dispel them. Yet, I suspect my mentees are looking for someone who will listen. The ability and luck crucial to finding a great job are within my mentee, so my role is to nurture the process and add insight and connections when they are welcome.

If you are considering becoming a mentor yourself, I highly recommend the experience. My advice is to pause and reflect on the luck of your own circumstances. Keep in mind that you are on the other side of a bridge your mentee is trying to cross. The circumstances that will get them to the other side won’t be in your control, and your advice may not always apply. So, go in with an open mind and ear, hold space, and learn from your mentee as much as they learn from you. Caring is at the root of what it means to me to be a mentor. I can’t guarantee anyone a job, but I can be the one who cares. 

Caleb Domsy is a Business Librarian at Humber College’s Lakeshore campus. Caleb can be reached at and through LinkedIn.

Mi Yoon graduated from U of T in 2021.  She has worked at Bennett Jones and McMaster University. Mi can be reached at

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