Create a NW regional ACRL Immersion Program in partnership with regional ACRL chapters, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and other supporters.
In April at the 2012 Oregon Library Association Conference the OLA Library Instruction Round Table sponsored the session “The ACRL Immersion experience- what’s in it for YOU?” a panel describing logistics and benefits of the Immersion Program. At the panel, it was suggested that a NW regional Immersion Program could be a viable opportunity for librarians who are unable to afford or attend a National Immersion. It was also suggested that a regional Immersion Program would build a strong sense of community among the local professionals who share the experience. Attendees at the panel session showed support for the idea and on May 19, 2012, attendees of the 2012 Oregon Information Literacy Summit also showed strong support for a regional ACRL Immersion Program. Michele Burke is initiating this proposal that regional ACRL Chapters along with the Orbis Cascade Alliance partner on organizing and supporting a regional Immersion Program, and Susan Barnes Whyte, Library Director for Linfield College is a consulting expert and partner on this proposal. Susan was the 2009-2011 Co-Coordinator for the entire National Immersion Program and has been the lead faculty member for many regional Immersion Programs over the last 12 years. She has extensive experience in organizing Immersion Programs and has volunteered to work on the steering team for this project.
Overview of National ACRL Immersion
- Cost for attending a National Immersion is generally about $1,400 plus travel
- The tracks are not sequential, individuals apply for and attend whichever tracks fit best
- What do the tracks mean? (Teacher, Intentional Teacher, Assessment, Program)
- Teacher Track focuses on individual development for those who are interested in enhancing, refreshing, or extending their individual instruction skills (mostly novice but could be a perfect fit, attendees are asked to come with a class they are teaching)
- Program Track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs
- Intentional Teaching: Reflective Practice to Improve Student Learning Track is intended for the experienced academic librarian who wants to become more self-aware and self-directed as a teacher (profound personal change, need at least 5 years teaching)
- Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library Track is intended for librarians active in teaching and learning and those with leadership roles for information literacy program development who want to improve their knowledge and practice of both classroom and program assessment
- Where to learn more about National Immersion: http://www.ala.org/acrl/issues/infolit/professactivity/iil/immersion/programs
Considerations for a Regional Immersion Program
Generally a Classic Immersion Program is offered and may make the most sense according to Susan Barnes Whyte. Past regional Classic Immersion Programs offered the Teacher Track and the Program Track coordinated to last the same number of days with the faculty members (usually 5 instructors) teaching in both. Although there has not been a regional Assessment Program or Intentional Teacher Program, elements of these could be options and the regional Immersion Program could be tailored to fit local needs (see for example the current program for Cornell University).
Grant funding is a possibility. Washington state community colleges were awarded two LSTA grants to support a Classic Immersion Program with a follow-up (first in the summer of 2006 with a follow-up summer 2011). The LSTA grant allowed many community college librarians from all WA community colleges to attend the Teacher or Program Tracks and reduced the cost substantially for all attendees. Susan will discuss LSTA grant details with Deb Gilchrist and has proposed that we might work on a grant request together. For information on the WA program and links to information about the LSTA grant, see Dipping into ACRL Immersion: Advancing Information Literacy through Good Teaching and Program Design (http://informationliteracywactc.pbworks.com/w/page/39530288/Dipping%20into%20ACRL%20Immersion).
- Establish partnership with ACRL-WA, ACRL-OR, ACRL-ID and the Orbis Cascade Alliance
- Form a steering team (Susan has offered to serve on the steering team and assist with logistics)
- Decide which Immersion Program(s) to bring to the region (this decision must be made prior to contacting ACRL National Immersion and Susan recommends Classic Immersion)
- Gather support for the regional Immersion (examples of support include financial sponsorship, a hosting organization, and housing)
- Prior to approaching ACRL National, regional partners must be strongly organized and must have thought about funding in detail