It's been a whirlwind since I returned from San Diego. We are in full countdown-to-school-starting mode at the Library and that means PROJECTS and PLANNING.
From an IL point of view, all those exercises and handouts from Immersion have really paid off. The incredible team of librarians at Champlain have been 100% on board with our planning for a big year of teaching and I am so grateful. We are working together to develop programmatic goals, create activities for students that are creative and meaningful (it sounds so easy, doens't it), and prepare ourselves for a heavy teaching schedule this fall. It's a lot for me, as I am sure it is for them. But we are talking it out, especially in thinking about what we need to succeed. Here are a few of the things that have made it to our list:
1. A shared vision. CRUCIAL. One of the things I wish for most is for all of the librarians embrace the program but also the reason behind the program. One of the first things we have done is to develop a list of goals that is meaningful for all of us and that we all can stand behind. It has been a wonderful way of learning about how we each understand and imagine an IL program.
2. Awareness of our differences and styles. Again, so important. One of the things that really stuck with me from an Immersion reading was Parker Palmer's belief in maintaining your identity and integrity in the classroom. While we have goals and outcomes to meet in each session, each librarian is their own person and their own teacher. We will approach classes in our own ways. I appreciate that difference and am glad that this was brought.
3. Openness to Failure. This is a new initiative at Champlain and a new way of teaching for many of us. For myself, the Immersion mantra "Fail Often to Succeed Sooner" is a hard but important one for me to chant. I am an overacheiver and have high expectations for myself and others. I know this about myself. Failing is always hard for me. But, learning is not. And that is how we are going to view our failures, as an opportunity to learn and celebrate our efforts. We are trying new things, and that is such an incredible acheivement for a group to do together.
4. Communicate. Whether it be to ourselves, to our director, to the faculty, to the students, to the division...in order for us to succeed in the coming year we need opportunities to share experiences and ideas with one another.
Again, I am reminded again and again how lucky I am to work with these librarians. They are facing the challenge of a new program with such grace, enthusiasm, and determination. For example, while talking about what some of the opportunities for the coming year may be, one colleague said that the new IL program was an opportunity for personal growth. She was looking forward to trying new things. So inspiring.
Finally, speaking of growth and inspiration, Champlain has welcomed a new librarian to the fold. Andy Burkhardt is our new Emerging Technologies Librarian. He blogs over at Information Tyrannosaur and you can read his brief intro to our college community at our library blog. I am thrilled to have Andy with us. In just a few short weeks, he is generating a ton of great ideas. Awesome.