Mentoring For Innovation

Successful young innovators report they had a mentor who guided, supported and motivated them throughout the innovation process.


This section has two parts.




This part features our self-directed training for librarians who wish to learn strategies and methods for successful adult-child mentoring in the context of youth innovation. Training includes an introduction, six online, self-paced learning modules, dozens of opportunities to actively participate in your own learning, a summarizing recap and quizzes and assessments to demonstrate what you have learned. This free and accessible training was collaboratively developed by The Center for Digital Literacy at Syracuse University and The Center for Mentoring Leadership, Phoenix, Arizona. as part of the IMLS-funded project "School Libraries as Innovation Spaces, School Librarians as Innovation Mentors:

Stimulating Students' Curiosity, Inquiry and Innovative Thinking."


The mentoring model presented, originally developed by Dr. Lois Zachary (2012) and adapted for school librarian-K-12 students by Dr. Ruth Small (2014) in consultation with Dr. Zachary and incorporating work by Dr. John Keller (1987) and Dr. Tony Wagner (2012), provided the framework for this training. To begin your young innovator mentoring learning adventure, just register or login.


To learn more about the origins of this model, watch our two-part interview with Dr. Zachary (below). See this site's resource database (Supporting Innovation) for more information about referenced works.


An Interview with Mentoring Expert Dr. Lois Zachary: Part I


An Interview with Mentoring Expert Dr. Lois Zachary: Part 2


Part II (Coming Soon)


This part features our "Inventor Mentor" series of brief videos, showcasing successful young inventors who share their experiences and advice with aspiring or beginning young inventors. These 12 videos, developed by Dr. Marilyn Arnone with Associate Producer Melissa Bennett as part of the IMLS-funded project Making the Literacy-Innovation Connection for Rural Libraries and their Youngest Patrons, are intended to (1) stimulate interest in youth invention activities and/or (2) as part of a school or public library lesson or program for young inventors to address specific challenges they may encounter during the process and how they solved them. You can share these videos with your young innovators by just clicking on any or all of the videos below. (Videos will be available September 3, 2019)



The Innovation Destination


The Innovation Destination was designed and evaluated by a team from the Center for Digital Literacy at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University and developed by Data Momentum Inc, in partnership with the Connecticut Invention Convention, By Kids for Kids, New York On Tech, and over 70 school librarians and young innovators.