Institute for Information Literacy (IIL): Immersion 2000

[l-r] Gale Burrow (Claremont Colleges), Deborah Moore (California Lutheran University), Kate Manuel (CSU Hayward), Angelynn King (University of Redlands)

Facilitator: Deborah Moore (California Lutheran University, track 1 participant)

Panelists: Kate Manuel (CSU, Hayward, track 1 participant), Angelynn King (University of Redlands, track 1 participant), and Gale Burrow (Claremont Colleges, track 2 participant, 1999)

The Immersion program is a week-long intensive course for information literacy.

Track 1 has about 60 students, track 2 has about 30.

Kate: The program makes you think about what information literacy means. It concentrated on the fundamentals of teaching - you are the primary tool. The focus is not so much on the program as it is on the individual. Develop yourself. It requires a strong commitment on the part of the person because the program itself is expensive (about $1,200.00 plus travel). You get to do a lot of small group work. They put you together with people that match your demographics, so you have a group of colleagues in similar situations with whom you can discuss experiences and situations.

Angelynn: ‘Bibliographic Instruction’ (BI) has been replaced with ‘Information Literacy.’ These skills are very much in demand now. Even in the recent past, no information was given in library schools on how to teach others. But now, all the reference librarians are required to do "BI" work. You can bring a case study with you. The training was intensive. At night you worked on lesson plans. You are shown how to teach by the instructors’ own behaviors. The instructors were incredible. Not only did they have their own sessions to run, but they made themselves available to you outside of the sessions.

Gail: I was in the original track 2 (1999) program. What they’re doing now is a great improvement. It was and still is a wonderful experience. Track 1 gives you the basics on teaching. It focuses on you as an individual, whereas track 2 focuses on the program your institution is trying to develop. You need to be in a position to implement them at your institution. Acceptance into the program is competitive. The Institute looks at the applicant’s institution as a whole and its student body in deciding who to accept for the program. They look at institutional support and readiness for an instruction program. Subjects covered during the program: teaching, management, assessment, leadership, information literacy and distance education. Teaching effectiveness is a new component being added. Also, developing a model program is another new area. Reframing your case study as an action plan is another approach they will be trying. You develop a ‘community’ by working in groups.

A sample day:

You must participate or you can miss a lot. For track 2 there is a lot of reading you’re expected to do before you go. Follow up: you’re automatically subscribed to a listserv, so that contacts you made at the Immersion Program could continue after you leave. So many applicants desire to get into this program, the Institute requires the applicants’ institutions to submit a letter stating that they will support the programs their librarians develop.

Kate wrote on the board:

Another useful training program is the Canadian WILU: Workshop on Information Literacy Use.


Submitted by Karen Knotts or , now at Glendale Community College, with modifications by Deborah Moore and Judy Lee.