Immersion Librarianship: An assessment of transforming LIS students’ professional worldview through a service learning project at an international school library

WALCZYK, Christine and SCHULTZ-JONES, Barbara (2017) Immersion Librarianship: An assessment of transforming LIS students’ professional worldview through a service learning project at an international school library. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 117 - School Libraries, Education and Training and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Immersion Librarianship: An assessment of transforming LIS students’ professional worldview through a service learning project at an international school library

This paper is an assessment of the 2012 project which took fourteen students to Russia for just such an experience. This assessment contains a summary of the study conducted as well as several suggestions are offered for designing new and redesigning existing programs. Capitalizing on the concepts of international service learning, this program combined the expectations of study abroad and cultural discovery with professional experience and professional discovery. Designed as a critical hermeneutic study, the aim was to discern what students actually learned from such an experience, not to prove or disprove an existing theory. Through the review of pre-experience surveys, post-experience interviews, and researcher real-time observation, a rich conversation about the experience was created. From the pre-experience survey, six attributes were collected - time in profession, age group, point in the program, worked with internationals, prior international experience, type of LIS work experience - and used to examine student responses to the post-experience interview questions. The authors, study researcher and lead professor, share: background on the specific program including its history, observations on previous projects, and the course credits in which it is embedded; details about the cohort make-up and selection process, the host libraries, and the project's itinerary; a brief explanation of the methodology employed, critical hermeneutics; findings from analysis as well as directly from students commentary; and spend the lion share outlining suggestions for future projects such as this one and a general list of best practices. Methodology: Critical Hermeneutics Analysis: Conversation and content analysis Population: 14 LIS graduate students (study participants), lead professor, three additional mentors, one researcher Host Location: AAS of Moscow and AAS of St. Petersburg, Russia Duration of course: 1 8-week summer semester, with 3 weeks in country

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