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Library Knowledge Services (North)

LIHNN Buddy Scheme

Introducing the LIHNN buddy scheme

Are you new to the LIHNN network or an established network member looking to support new starters? Our informal buddy scheme is designed to connect new starters with existing members to build connections, share what we know and support each other.

How does it work?

We have a list of established network members who have signed up to be buddies for new starters, so once you sign up you will be assigned a buddy from our list - we will avoid pairing people from the same organisation. We will email you both to connect you. It's really informal - we recommend you have an initial chat, in person or virtually, whatever works for you both, to introduce yourselves to each other. After that you might want to stay in touch via email or continue to arrange catch ups. It does not have to be a long-term commitment though of course if pairs want to continue to meet for a prolonged period they would be welcome to.

How do I get involved?

To sign up as either an existing member volunteering to be a buddy, or as a new starter wanting to be assigned a buddy, contact Katie Nicholas

Experience of being in a buddy scheme

Ramona Naicker (Library and Information Specialist at the Northern Care Alliance) has kindly shared her experience of being in a buddy scheme below.

"I was a buddy to a new starter last year, and it was a lovely experience – I’ll certainly be volunteering again. 

Firstly, let me say that you don’t need to be at the top of your career or have all the answers to be a buddy to a new starter. And of course, new starters will have their own teams and managers to raise issues with, but we all know what it’s like to be new - sometimes you just need someone to ask “silly” questions to. 

The new starter I was paired with had experienced a total career change, so being able to boost their confidence and motivation, as well allowing me to see our roles and services through a different perspective, was very valuable. 

It was also a chance to reinforce my own knowledge and recognise my own value within the network. LIHNN has supported me in countless ways, so being a buddy allowed me the satisfaction of giving something back, expand my network and build authentic relationships. 

Though undoubtedly durations of buddy relationships will vary, ours came to a natural end after a couple of months of informal fortnightly catchups, when the new starter felt more settled."