31 July 2008

Immersion: Day 3 and 4

Clearly, Immersion is intense and intensive so the chance to blog has been slim the last 36 hours. In part, and this is almost hard to believe myself, this is because the little time I have to myself is spent putting things together. Yes, after only 4 days, I feel like I have a new concept of what an excellent Information Literacy Program is. While I think that Champlain has some truly essential pieces of such a program in place, there are certainly things that we will have to spend time thinking about, planning for, developing, and implementing. Perhaps the most important thing I am taking away from this experience (how many times have I said that?) is that creating a program, especially an excellent program, takes time.

Pacing myself is a true personal challenge for me. As the Leadership skills assessment showed, I am a big picture person. Ideas flow out of me and I have a tendency to capture a good percentage of them on this blog, in notebooks I carry around, on sticky notes, etc. I have so many ideas, some of them really good, that I want to act on them, NOW. Right now. I am aware that this is one of my shortcomings. And I think listening to someone like Deb Gilchrist emphasize how long she has been at this and how many iterations she has gone through settles me down a bit. Mary Macdonald, a truly wonderful storyteller, shared many experiences of trial and error that she has drawn on to improve and revamp her program. Karen Williams has spoken a lot about the time it has taken to get buy in from her administrations and librarians, let alone faculty. All of these librarians have success stories that I have learned a lot from but it is also their failures that really help me see where to go and not go. What to try and not try. On the first day of Immersion, they showed us a video about IDEO. The CEO of the company says "Fail often so you can succeed sooner." That has been a motto here at Immersion. I think it's a good one for me.

So, where I am at this point? Swimming in thoughts. The rest of today is spent creating action plans for us to bring back to our institutions that identify Action items, Rationale, Evidence of completion/ expected outcome, Strategy, Support needed, Constituents/ stakeholders, and Starting points/ components. I've started writing a narrative that is mostly for myself. I hope to put it into something less lengthy and more usable for me and my library. I appreciate the timeline they emphasize: 6 mos - 1 year. As I said, there are so many ideas running through my mind at this point, if I didn't think about the immediates, I think I would find the starting point difficult to find.

Later today, we will be vetting drafts of our action plans with our cohort. Here we are, brainstorming a bit:
These are some wonderful, creative, smart, collaborative librarians who I hope I can work with and turn to in the future (in no order): Nicole Brown, Barett Havens, Evangela Oates, Jennifer Sigalet, April Cunningham. I am so happy to have met and worked with them. They made this not only an educational experience but a fun one.

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