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Have you recently become a bookseller?

Would it help if you could get regular advice from an experienced ILAB antiquarian bookseller?Over the past few months, ILAB has developed the ILAB International Mentor Programme which was launched in January. The ILAB International Mentor Programme harnesses the enormous good will of our associates/members worldwide to offer a truly extraordinary range of expertise in, as this is written, no less than 9 languages, to support less experienced booksellers where ever they may be. We can now envisage such situations as a Dutch mentor supporting a young American bookseller, an American mentor helping a young Russian bookseller or an Australian mentor chatting regularly with their mentee in Malaysia. It is also just as likely that the mentor and mentee might be within the same country or city – there are far fewer limitations than there have ever been.
By
Sally Burdon
Published on 21 Sept. 2018
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Would it help if you could get regular advice from an experienced ILAB antiquarian bookseller?

The ILAB International Mentor Programme harnesses the enormous good will of our associates/members worldwide to offer a truly extraordinary range of expertise in, as this is written, no less than 9 languages, to support less experienced booksellers where ever they may be. We can now envisage such situations as a Dutch mentor supporting a young American bookseller, an American mentor helping a young Russian bookseller or an Australian mentor chatting regularly with their mentee in Malaysia. It is also just as likely that the mentor and mentee might be within the same country or city – there are far fewer limitations than there have ever been.

These days communication between dealers across the world is easy and inexpensive. This has created an opportunity for the antiquarian trade to work together helping less experienced booksellers where ever they may be located to develop their businesses and become better, more confident and effective members of our trade within a much shorter time than they might otherwise be able to without a mentor.

Take a look at the education section of the ILAB site where you will see our “foundation” mentors listed. You will find there a diverse and impressive group of booksellers who reflect just some of the many different types of successful booksellers who comprise our trade. Prospective mentees are invited to visit the site and nominate the mentor they feel would be right for them. The prospective mentee sends a completed form together with the names of the mentor to ILAB who check availability and as best they can the likely success of the match. Following this the prospective mentor and their mentee will have a chat, ideally in person at a book fair or some other mutually convenient place – but if this is not possible by Skype or phone to “meet” each other. After this initial meeting if the two booksellers feel they can work together the mentor/mentee relationship will be formally established. Once the mentor relationship has been established the recommended contact is for the two booksellers to speak for a minimum of an hour each month over the course of a year, but exactly how it works in practice will be up to the two people involved.

All of the mentors involved in the ILAB International Mentor Program are drawn from ILAB ranks and are acting in a voluntary capacity. The mentees will not be required to make any payment for mentoring. The booksellers who are being mentored will not be named on the ILAB site (unless of course they would like to be). The mentees may or may not be current ILAB members although we do expect those seeking to be mentored to be serious about pursuing a career in the trade.

Are you someone or do you know someone who might benefit from having a mentor? Please tell them about this programme and invite them to take part. We believe that the ILAB International Mentor Programme is one of the ways to secure a positive future for our trade. Join us!

For information about the ILAB International Mentor Programme please contact: editor@ilab.org

Sally Burdon (ILAB Vice President) & Stuart Bennett (ILAB Executive Committee)
Mentoring Programme Coordinators

For more information, please visit the Mentoring pages on the ILAB website.

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