My Experience as a Mentee in the SANDALL Buddies Mentor Program

Amanda Heathby Amanda Heath

Last October when the call for participation in the San Diego Area Law Libraries (SANDALL) Buddies mentoring program hit the SLIS listservs, law librarianship hadn’t even crossed my mind. As a fairly new library student I was still struggling with making the decision as to what type of library I wanted to work in. Seeing the call for mentees in the Buddies program was an opportunity I felt that I couldn’t pass up. After all, SANDALL was offering me an opportunity to explore law librarianship without me having to make cold calls asking for time out of someone’s busy schedule or covertly observing the setting between the stacks. All I had to do was reply to an email stating that I was interested and let the program unfold from there.

Through the Buddies program I met with my mentor and discussed possible career paths and the various education requirements. I toured the University of San Diego Legal Research Center. I job shadowed a law librarian in an academic library for a couple of hours to get a first-hand look at the work environment. At the Buddies social events I met and talked with law librarians who worked in varied work environments and learned about their daily tasks, the challenges of the profession, and the many rewards. I asked a ton of questions and received a ton of answers.

Other possible experiences in the Buddies program include having your resume reviewed and getting interviewing advice, attending conferences and workshops, and networking with others in the field. The program also supported a virtual mentee who had an interest in the program but did not live in the area.

In a nutshell, the Buddies program was a great experience. It provided me with a wealth of information and a support network that a newbie like me finds invaluable. Anyone new to the law librarian profession or simply interested in law librarianship will benefit from the experience and I greatly encourage others to participate. If you are interested in future opportunities with the SANDALL Buddies program, please contact Grace Chilingirian at

Amanda Heath is a San Diego native who currently volunteers at the reference desk of the San Diego County Library, Poway Branch. She is in her second year of the SLIS program attending classes part-time and has an expected graduation date of Spring 2013.