People to People Program in Vietnam and Cambodia

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Barbara J. Ford, Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library.

As delegation leader for our upcoming journey to Vietnam and Cambodia, I would like to pass along to you what I hope to get out of our trip. As you consider being part of this delegation, know that our team will experience a lot and bring back memories for a lifetime.

I have enjoyed international travel and interacting with other cultures since I was a Peace Corps. I have found that travel that relates to my passion about and work with libraries is especially meaningful and memorable.  I first traveled with People to People in 1985 when I went to China as a member of a group of library and information professionals.  It was the trip of a lifetime and led me to greater interest in international libraries and travel and gave me new insights into my work in academic and public libraries in the U.S.

I have had the opportunity to travel to countries around the world as part of the work I did at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois.  From this experience I know that librarians around the world want to learn more about U.S. libraries and welcome international visitors and the opportunity to share ideas.  Libraries in Asia are particularly interesting at this time since they are developing to meet the information needs of their changing communities.

Traveling to both Vietnam and Cambodia will make this trip even more memorable since we will be able to compare and contrast libraries in the two countries.  I have been to Vietnam several times in a professional role and been impressed with the commitment of librarians to the work they are doing.  It is a dynamic country where citizens are increasingly understanding the power of information and libraries.  It will be interesting to return with a group of colleagues where we can share our experiences and learn from Vietnamese colleagues and one another. I very much look forward to visiting and learning about libraries and culture in Cambodia.

People to People provides a wonderful combination of professional interaction and cultural experiences. With strong international contacts, People to People is able to set up a unique program that provides insights into other cultures. In addition to libraries, I look forward to experiencing Angkor Wat which is a UNESCO world heritage center and a site of great interest to people around the world.  You can find additional information about the delegation at or email me at

Call 877-787-2000 to join us! You will not regret it.

Barbara J. Ford
ALA Past President, 1997-1998
Distinguished Professor Emerita
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

Immersion applications due May 15

Application materials for the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program Assessment and Intentional Teaching Tracks are due Friday, May 15, 2015.

The Immersion Program allows you to embrace your educational role by embarking on a path of teacher development and pedagogical inquiry in a community of practice for academic librarians devoted to collaborative learning and individual renewal.  The program will be offered in Nashville, Tennessee. Assessment track dates are November 4-7, 2015; Intentional Teaching track dates are November 4-8, 2015.

Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library Track (November 4-7, 2015) — Discover how to approach assessment from a learning-centered perspective. Participants will emerge with a broader understanding of assessment and how to use assessment as an important tool to guide evidence-based classroom, curriculum and program development. Learning outcomes include:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to understand its relationship to good teaching, library viability, and change
  • Formulate a learning-centered philosophy of assessment in order to inform development of information literacy program elements
  • Explore and utilize multiple modes of assessment in order to build a culture of evidence upon which to base programmatic development and change
  • Critically examine a variety of assessment techniques and methodologies in order to evaluate them for application in your institutional setting
  • Examine the leadership role of the library in a collaborative IL assessment effort in order to build support and trust among the stakeholder groups at your institution

I love Immersion. Every program I’ve gone to has done more to change me in a few days than years of work. Thank you so much!” ~ 2014 Assessment Immersion participant

Intentional Teaching: Reflective Teaching to Improve Student Learning Track (November 4-8, 2015) — Find out how to become more self-aware and self-directed as a teacher.  This track is aimed at the experienced academic librarian (5+ years teaching experience, in a library or other setting) and facilitates the process of critical reflection through peer discussion, readings and personal reflection as a pathway to professional growth and renewal. Learning outcomes include:

  • Engage in ongoing reflective practice in order to sustain professional renewal and growth.
  • Articulate a personal philosophy of teaching and learning in order to intentionally shape the student experience.
  • Align personal philosophy with daily practice in order to consistently actualize your beliefs, intentions and actions
  • Participate in a community of practice in order to access and share ideas, resources, publications, support structures, and networks.
  • Value uncertainty and risk-taking in order to deepen your identity and integrity as a teacher.

Teachers were all fantastic! Participants were all extraordinary people. Fell in love with everyone. Readings were very informative. Can’t wait to go home and read all the books and share them with my colleagues. I’m stoked. Can’t wait to go home and teach!” ~ 2014 Intentional Teaching Immersion participant

Visit the Immersion website for complete details about the program, including curriculum details and application instructions.  Questions concerning the program or application process should be directed to Margot Conahan at (312) 280-2522 or

Member of the Week: Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter is Social Sciences and Music Librarian at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. Wade has been an ACRL member since 1994 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 11, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, detail-oriented, and questioning.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? My reading is currently focused on biographies of various American religious figures of the early 19th century, most recently Barton W. Stone, one of the founders of the Stone-Campbell movement. I will, however, be reading the latest Stephen King novel, Finders Keepers, when it’s released in June. As far as music goes, I listen to recordings of Sacred Harp singing at every opportunity. Sacred Harp singing is a community-based, participatory, a cappella singing tradition that dates back to the early 19th century. Honestly, I simply can’t get enough of it.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Networking, collegiality, and service.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL are the opportunities it provides for networking and service. I would not have retained my membership for all these years were in not for these opportunities. I also value the role ACRL plays in promoting the value of academic libraries and the importance of information literacy.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Social Sciences and Music Librarian, my primary role is to ensure that faculty, staff, and students have efficient and effective access to the information they need for both instruction and research in my subject areas. Helping them to learn how to use these resources efficiently and effectively is also very important. In addition, Weber State understands the importance of information literacy for our students and I contribute to our information literacy program by teaching a for-credit course and providing several course-integrated instruction sessions each semester. As a faculty member, I contribute by serving on faculty senate committees and also tenure/promotion committees in the library, in several colleges, and at the university level.

6. In your own words: To me, life as an academic librarian can be exciting, challenging, stressful, rewarding, and enjoyable all at the same time. It’s exciting to me because of all the changes and improvements in information resources that keep coming our way. These changes, of course, are part of what makes librarianship a challenge as well, along with the fact that we’re always trying to do more at the same time our financial resources are dwindling. These challenges can also make it stressful at times, not knowing what new challenges we’ll face when we arrive at work each morning. In the end, however, all of these and more combine to make academic librarianship a most challenging, intellectually rewarding, and thoroughly enjoyable profession. I’m very happy with the choice I made to become an academic librarian even though it was not my first choice as a profession.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at for more information.

2015 ACRL Election Results

Irene HeroldIrene M. H. Herold, university librarian at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, has been elected ACRL vice-president/president-elect. She will become president-elect following the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, and assume the presidency in July 2016 for a one-year term.

Beth McNeil, associate dean of the Purdue University Libraries, and Lori J. Ostapowicz-Critz, head of faculty engagement department at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have been elected to the ACRL Board of Directors as director-at-large.

Full 2015 election results will be available Monday, May 11, on the ACRL website.

Congratulations to those elected and many thanks to the dedicated members willing to stand for office.

May 8 Update: Division election results (PDF) are now available on the ALA website.

ALA Virtual Membership Meeting

ALA members can make their voices heard regarding the organization’s strategic direction and budget priorities by sharing their ideas and experiences and offering their suggestions during the annual Virtual Membership Meeting (VMM). This interactive online forum provides real-time access to ALA leaders and opportunities to connect with colleagues about critical areas of ALA’s policy and advocacy work. During registration, participants identify and rank topics of interest that are discussed during an open forum. Members also discuss and vote on resolutions they have proposed.

VMM15 will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, June 4. Live captioning will be provided so all registrants can participate. Resolutions must be submitted by 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on May 28.

“We want to hear what our members have to say,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “VMM15 is a terrific opportunity for members to share their vision and to affect ALA’s future. We want to know the issues about which they care and their professional goals—and how ALA can be of service.”

See the ALA VMM15 webpage or the ALA Connect Member Group for information about the upcoming VMM15 and to exchange perspectives, ideas, and opinions with colleagues in advance. Register for VMM15 now.

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