Immersion Call for Program Facilitators

Immersion Program logoThe ACRL Information Literacy Program is recruiting a cohort of 3-5 new facilitators to help our current team further develop and facilitate our program. Now in its twentieth year, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Immersion Program brings together academic librarians for four and a half days of intensive work in teaching and information literacy. With more than 3,100 graduates of previous national and regional sessions, the Immersion Program has transformed individuals, students, and instruction programs nationally and internationally.

In 2018, we launched an entirely new curriculum, focused on critical reflective practice and the role of libraries in higher education. We continue to revise the curriculum, based on feedback, assessment, and the institutional needs of participants. We are particularly focused on developing a curriculum that engages critical perspectives on information literacy and pedagogy and addresses inequities in librarianship and higher education more broadly. We seek a cohort of new program facilitators who can bring a range of knowledge and diverse lived experiences, inside and outside of libraries, to join us in this work.

The current program facilitators are engaged in a process of professional development in anti-oppressive and anti-racist facilitation, using an approach of cultural humility. We are looking for individuals who will contribute to our collective professional development as program facilitators and help lead our collective work in new directions. We welcome candidates with a range of experience in any aspect of teaching information literacy and engaging critically in the educational role of libraries.  Successful facilitators are not required to have a minimum amount of teaching or library experience, formal management experience, or a formal leadership role. We especially welcome candidates with a commitment to, and experience with, anti-oppressive pedagogy.

Immersion Program Description

The ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program is an intensive four-and-a-half day program designed for those who contribute to the educational role of libraries in higher education. Through a critical examination of information literacy, teaching and learning, and influence and leadership, the Immersion program curriculum aims to develop critically reflective practitioners who go on to enact change in their practice, projects, or personal and professional goals.

Without providing set templates or imposed solutions, Immersion calls upon participants to actively engage in critical reflective practice and apply new learning to the development of solutions and strategies that best meet their individual and institutional needs. Participants will engage with common readings, provocative questions, theoretical foundations, and practical tools. We use the term critical in two ways. First, the program will guide participants to interrogate the underlying and often hidden assumptions about teaching, learning, and information literacy that guide our thoughts and actions. Second, truly critical reflection requires a thorough examination of how systemic forms of inequality and oppression shape our institutions, our profession, our classrooms, and our relationships with each other. The program builds upon critical theory and praxis in education, libraries, and society in order to challenge inequities and promote social justice.

Immersion Program Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Examine the educational role of librarians in higher education in order to appraise their own position and context of practice, including their institutional setting and larger systems of power and privilege.
  • Reflect on various conceptions of information literacy in order to develop and apply a personal and, when applicable, shared understanding of information literacy.
  • Examine and question underlying assumptions about teaching and learning in order to develop critically informed instructional practices.
  • Engage with theories of influence, change, and leadership in order to develop a critical perspective that addresses issues of power and privilege in higher education and fosters inclusive workplaces and communities.

Immersion Program Facilitators

Current program facilitators agree that teaching in the Immersion Program is the most energizing and challenging professional development experience in which they have ever participated. Facilitators have direct opportunity to influence the future of information literacy and the educational role of libraries. Facilitators contribute ideas and energy toward common solutions in support of co-facilitators and attendees as well as overall Immersion goals and values. The teaching and learning experience in Immersion is deeply integrated and holistic. We recently changed our titles from faculty to facilitator in order to emphasize our roles as guides and co-learners, rather than expert teachers set apart from the knowledge, experiences, and systemic factors that shape our learning communities at Immersion.

Desired Experiences, Skills, and Knowledge

We are looking for candidates who can help us design and facilitate a program that helps people meet the learning outcomes described above. There are no fixed requirements or long list boxes to check for selection as an Immersion Program Facilitator. You might be relatively new to your position in libraries or have many years of educational experience, inside or outside of libraries. You might have deep knowledge or experience in a single area, or a range of experiences and skills in multiple areas. We are looking for a diverse range of experiences, skills, and knowledge, described below.

  • Experience with or knowledge of critical reflective practice in educational contexts.
  • Experience in anti-oppressive, anti-racist pedagogy or facilitation.
  • Experience with curriculum development and engaged teaching and learning strategies.
  • A commitment to facilitating a move from a diversity & inclusion framework for the Immersion Program to one grounded in equity & justice.
  • Experience and skills in collaborative work.
  • Knowledge and experience in any of the areas described by the learning outcomes, including information literacy, teaching and learning, influence, change, and leadership.

Expectations of Immersion Program Facilitators

  • Participate in the ongoing revision of the Immersion program curriculum and development of program materials. This requires active commitment throughout the year to participate in the facilitator discussion list, conference calls, and online meetings and meet timelines established by your colleagues, the Immersion Program Coordinators, and ACRL.
  • Participate in the facilitating as many as three of the Immersion Programs in the next five years. Facilitators receive an honorarium, travel expenses, lodging, and meals when teaching Immersion programs.
  • New facilitators will observe the program in summer 2019 (Loyola University Chicago, July 28-August 2, 2019) before being integrated into the teaching rotation. Travel expenses will be paid by ACRL.
  • At Immersion, 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.”
  • Following the program, participate in assessment of the program and incorporate feedback into further program design.
  • Meet all timelines and deadlines established by the Immersion Program Coordinator(s).
  • Contribute to discussions and decisions about the future of the Immersion Program, including new curricular areas and programs, including possible regional and institutional programs.
  • Attend facilitator meetings that are usually scheduled for a day prior to the start of the American Library Association (ALA) Annual and/or Midwinter conference(s). Attendance is not normally subsidized by ACRL. We conduct much of our business by meeting online throughout the year and we continue to pursue online meeting options in order to limit travel as much as possible. We understand that travel funding can be a barrier to participation and we are committed to mitigating this barrier as much as possible.

How to Apply

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

  • A 2-3 page cover letter that introduces yourself and your teaching philosophy. It should also describe why you would like to be an Immersion Program Facilitator and what experience you bring that would further the development of the Immersion program as described above.
  • A CV or resume.
  • Names of three references who have observed your teaching or have collaborated with you in your educational role.

The single PDF application must be electronically submitted by 8:00 a.m. Pacific Monday, March 4, 2019 to:

Anne Behler
Immersion Program Facilitator Search Chair
acb10@psu.edu

and

Margot Conahan
ACRL
mconahan@ala.org

Candidates will be interviewed via phone or online. No travel is required for the interview process.

Questions can be directed to Anne Behler, acb10@psu.edu.