Immersion Call for New Faculty

Join thirteen of your colleagues in teaching this exciting national program. Now in its fifteenth year, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Immersion Program brings together academic librarians for four to five days of intensive work in teaching and information literacy. With over 2,000 graduates of previous national and regional sessions, the Immersion Program has transformed individuals, students, and instruction programs nationally and internationally. There are generally four Immersion Programs held each year. The Teacher and Program Track Immersion Program is normally offered in July or early August; the Assessment and Intentional Teacher Track Immersion Program is usually offered in November or early December. Teaching with Technology was offered prior to the ALA Annual Meeting in 2013 with online work for four weeks afterwards.  It is tentatively scheduled to be offered in conjunction with ACRL 2015. Practical Management was offered as a one-day workshop in conjunction with ACRL 2013, and is being considered for development as a longer program. Additional programs are also being considered.

Immersion Program

The current Immersion Program curriculum is divided into six tracks:

The Teacher Track prepares librarians to become effective teachers; the Program Track develops leaders and managers of information literacy programs. Five principal curriculum areas organize the program and give librarians the tools needed to excel as both teachers and leaders:  information literacy, teaching/pedagogy, leadership, assessment, and learning theory.

The Intentional Teaching Track is aimed at the experienced academic librarian who wants to become more self-aware and self-directed as a teacher. This program facilitates the process of critical reflection through peer discussion, readings and personal reflection as a pathway to professional growth and renewal.  The Assessment Track is intended for experienced academic 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.

Teaching with Technology provides a practical and design-minded framework for evaluating instructional technologies in order to integrate them more effectively into face to face and/or online teaching.  The Teaching with Technology track holds a face-to-face one day meeting in conjunction  with a conference (ALA Annual or ACRL conference) (but not part of the conference) followed by four weeks of learning in an online environment.  

Practical Management is a one-day workshop which addresses how to lead from within – developing the powers of persuasion to influence in multiple directions.

While these programs have been foundational for Immersion and are expected to continue, ACRL and the Immersion faculty look forward to new innovations in the curriculum, delivery modality, and in the types of programs offered. We are seeking new colleagues, including librarians and instructional designers with experience working in academic libraries, who will creatively develop and refresh these programs in order to take Immersion in new and exciting directions.

Immersion Program Faculty

Current faculty members agree teaching in the Immersion Program is the most energizing and challenging professional development experience in which they have ever participated. Faculty members have direct opportunity to influence the future of information literacy and to further expand its impact as an educational change agenda.
The Immersion Program is planned and taught with collaboration and integration as its cornerstones. Faculty members contribute ideas and energy toward common solutions in support of co-faculty and attendees as well as overall Immersion goals and values. While faculty members typically specialize in one or two curricular areas, the teaching and learning experience in Immersion is deeply integrated and holistic. Faculty contribute to the overall program experience by teaching the duration of the program and in several areas of the curriculum.

Expectations of Immersion Program Faculty

  1. Participate in the teaching of at least three of the Immersion Programs in the next five years. New faculty will observe the foundational Classic program (Teacher and Program Tracks) in summer 2014 before being integrated into the teaching rotation.
  2. Contribute creatively and collaboratively to the development and delivery of the Immersion experience. This includes individual and team teaching, facilitating small groups, 1:1 discussions, attending meals, evening activities and planning meetings and assessment/evaluation sessions with both individuals and groups. Flexibly adapt teaching “for the moment.” Develop handouts, notebooks and teaching tools.
  3. Specialize in one of the selected curricular areas (information literacy; teaching/pedagogy; leadership and management; assessment; learning theory and instructional design; instructional technology; or in a new curricular area important to the future of higher education and information literacy). With faculty partners, ensure the creative evolution and development of curricula, especially as it relates to higher education and the advancement of information literacy. Collaboratively problem-solve with the entire faculty in order to support teaching in the other curricular areas. Immersion faculty members are encouraged to develop the ability to teach in an additional curricular area and to participate in new programs as they are developed.
  4. Collaborate with faculty to expand our collective repertoire of content and delivery methods. We seek additions to the faculty with the vision and energy to reach participants in new and creative ways.
  5. Following the program, assess and provide feedback to participants on the immersion assignments.
  6. Meet all timelines and deadlines established by the Immersion Program Faculty Coordinator(s).
  7. Active commitment to participate in the faculty discussion list, conference calls, and online meetings.
  8. Work year-round on faculty sub-committees to ensure an evolving, up-to-date program.
  9. Attend curriculum meetings that may be scheduled for days prior to the start of the American Library Association (ALA) Annual and/or Midwinter conference(s). Attendance is not normally subsidized outside of the program stipend.

Immersion Program Faculty Terms of Presentation

Faculty receive an honorarium, travel expenses, lodging, and meals when teaching Immersion programs.

How to Apply

To apply, please prepare the following materials.  Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  • Maximum 2-page cover letter introducing yourself and describing why you would like this experience. Address how you are creative in your professional practice in the cover letter or in the 1 page response questions.
  • Two-page vita
  • Names of three references who have observed your teaching and/or have collaborated with you in teaching endeavors
  • 1 page maximum responses to each of the following questions:  

1) Who are you as a teacher?  
2) What is an example of a successful collaborative teaching experience in which you have been involved?  What did you contribute to make it successful?
3) What will you contribute to the Immersion program; why are these qualities or contributions important to the goals of the program?
4) What is your knowledge and experience in each of the six curriculum areas, or in areas that would contribute to the development of Immersion programs? If you could add one new curriculum emphasis, what would it be and why?
5) Is there an emerging concept in IL / teaching and learning that you would want to ensure is included in the Immersion curriculum?

The single PDF application must be electronically submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central time, Monday, March 3, 2014 to:

Margot Conahan
Manager of Professional Development, ACRL

Candidates will be interviewed at the ALA Annual Meeting in June 2014. Applicants invited for an in-person interview will be notified by April 30, 2014 so they have sufficient time to make travel plans.

Questions can be directed to Bethany Tschaepe at