Collaborating for Student Success: Advancing Research Competencies in Writing and Literature

The LES Working Group to Update the LES Research Competencies and LES Virtual Participation Committee invite you to a special virtual event…

Collaborating for Student Success: Advancing Research Competencies in Writing and Literature

Date and time: Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Eastern)
Register online

Description: The LES Working Group to Update the LES Research Competencies has been working on a document to update the existing competencies within the new ACRL Information Literacy Framework. During this webinar, the working group will provide an update on the status of the Research Competencies in Writing and Literature document, highlighting how the document can be used to enhance teaching and outreach efforts in your liaison areas.

Your feedback on the document is needed! During the webinar, there will be opportunities for you to share your thoughts and ideas in small group settings on these key topics:

• Relevance to your own teaching and assessment efforts
• Interdisciplinary applications
• Usefulness in curriculum design and creating learning objectives

Please take a moment to review the document before the discussion.

Hope to see you there!

Kristina, on behalf of the 2019-2020 LES Working Group to Update the LES Research Competencies and LES Virtual Participation Committee

ACRL IS and LES seek liaison to Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)

The ACRL Instruction Section (IS) and Literatures in English Section (LES) are currently seeking applications to serve a three-year term (through July 2022) as the ACRL liaison to the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). CCCC, a conference of the National Council of Teachers of English, supports postsecondary teachers of rhetoric, composition and communication.

This is a new liaison position, recently approved by ACRL. Liaisons are responsible for outreach, education, and communication between the CCCC and ACRL in order to form strong relationships and advance the interests of ACRL, IS and LES.

About the CCCC

CCCC, according to its mission statement, “advocates for broad and evolving definitions of literacy, communication, rhetoric and writing (including multimodal discourse, digital communication, and diverse language practices) that emphasize the value of these activities to empower individuals and communities.” CCCC’s advocacy for a broad definition of literacy, which includes digital and multimodal literacy, dovetails very nicely with ACRL’s goal to advance student learning and advocacy for information literacy and other literacies. As both CCCC and ACRL are looking to collaborate with institutional partners to improve curricula, it makes sense to bring these two organizations together.

Deadline for Applications

September 1, 2019

Submission Requirements

Nominees must submit:

An email of application articulating qualifications to Meghan Sitar, Past-Chair, ACRL Instruction Section,
A current vita


Liaison attends CCCC Annual Convention, which takes place in March.
Liaison must be willing to identify opportunities for collaboration with CCCC members on research and scholarship to advance understanding of ethical and effective teaching practices, shared frameworks, and other emerging focus areas.
Liaison should effectively share information about ACRL strategic initiatives and agendas to CCCC.
Liaison must submit a report jointly to the Executive Committees of IS and LES and contribute a newsletter item following attendance at the conference, providing a summary of the experience.
Liaison will also report to the ACRL Liaisons Assembly.



Current member of IS or LES.
Experience working with composition and writing programs as a librarian.
Interest in coordinating activities to increase interaction between the CCCC, ACRL, IS, and LES.
Financial support to attend the CCCC for the length of the three-year term if not funded by ACRL (Note: Liaison may apply for conference funding from the grants working group of the ACRL External Liaisons Committee, but funding is not guaranteed. The current deadline to apply for Spring 2020 conference funding is September 15, 2019.)
Experience with or interest in outreach and advocacy to campus stakeholders engaged in writing instruction.
Excellent communication skills


Record of serving IS, LES, and/or ACRL on committees, task forces, etc.
Experience conducting research on the collaborations between composition instructors and librarians.

IS and LES are committed to assessing applicants promptly in order to allow the liaison to apply for funding through ACRL’s grants program.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact

Author Conversation…Laura Taddeo

What is your most recent publication?

A chapter in the book Teaching Literary Research: Challenges in a Changing Environment, ACRL Publications in Librarianship #60.   Co-written with Austin Booth, the chapter is entitled The Changing Nature of the Book: Literary Research, Cultural Studies, and the Digital Age.

How did you decide to write it?

The editors, Kathleen Johnson and Steven Harris, put out a call to the LES List asking for proposals from librarians interested in contributing to a publication about the challenges of teaching literary research in the twenty-first century.  At the time, our University libraries were going through many administrative and staffing changes.  My supervisor, the Director of Collections (who also had been the Literature liaison prior to me) was interested in writing about the way collections and reference was evolving.  Digital resources were becoming the main focus of our bibliographic instruction. As we reflected upon past teaching experiences and collaborations with faculty, we agreed that cultural studies had a tremendous influence on the English curriculum at the University at Buffalo and heavily influenced what we incorporated into our library workshops.  We assumed other librarians and faculty might be interested in some of our practical approaches.

What was the process that you went through?

We first had to write a proposal for a chapter.  Once we found out the chapter idea was accepted, the editors sent us guidelines to follow, including deadlines, format, style manuals, content/length, copyright permissions. We were instructed to model the chapter on the previous book sponsored by LES, Literature in English: A Guide for Librarians in the Digital Age (ACRL Publications in Librarianship #54). The book’s audience is meant for both academic librarians and English (or Modern Languages) Department faculty members.  Authors were instructed to explain any discipline-specific terminology in order to make their meaning clear to non-specialist readers and to avoid library jargon.

While Austin and I did some research to form the proposal, a lot more research and outlines followed before we came up with our first draft.  We had taught many literature-based information literacy classes and wanted to put together practical tips for literature librarians, while also providing some sort “conversation” about the changing nature of the book, and the influence of cultural studies on the English curriculum.  The chapter went through several editing stages before it actually was ready for publication. The first round of changes was the most difficult because we were told to shorten some sections, expand others, or provide more unique teaching examples.

Talk a bit about the publication.

The emergence of cultural studies as a theoretical framework for literary studies and the wealth of digital technologies available to humanities scholars has certainly changed how students and faculty teach and do research.  Alternative research methods include examining the production, distribution and consumption of literary texts in their sociohistorical contexts; studying canon formation and genre definition; and examining a wider array of material, including popular texts and non-written material such as film and hypertext productions. Our  chapter describes approaches to teaching literary research that explore the significance of cultural studies as well as the relationships among cultural studies, digital texts and information literacy standards.  We provide descriptions of classes and assignments that we used for English undergraduate and graduate students at UB.

What did you like most about the process/project?

The best part was that we were forced to re-evaluate some of our past teaching practices.  While most of our classes tend to benefit both the students and faculty, there is always room for improvement. Writing about class assignments or collaborations among faculty gave us more ideas for future projects. We also identified new ways librarians can incorporate the basic philosophy of the ACRL’s “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education” into the English curriculum.

What did you like least?

Editing my own work was very difficult.  The editors made some very good comments about certain things that needed to be changed or revised.  Even constructive criticism is hard to acknowledge at first.  I thought it would be difficult co-writing a chapter, but it was actually a valuable experience.  I learned a lot from my writing partner, who had more experience working with our English faculty and also more knowledge about the history of cultural studies.  It also made the editing process less painful because we had one another to bounce ideas off of and we could proof each other’s work. Waiting for the final product to finally come out was a little frustrating because it took a few years for the actual book to be published.  However, most academic publications tend to go through a long publication process.

What suggestions would you have for LES members who would like to become involved in research and publication?

Most of my publications have come from calls for papers distributed through listservs.  Staying abreast of what topics are “hot” is very important.  Also, write about something you like to do-it makes the writing so much easier.  And if you have a co-author, make sure you know the author’s writing style and work ethic. You don’t want to have to do drastic editing to make the paper read smoothly. And you also do not want to carry all the weight.  Each writer should have an equal amount of work to contribute to the piece. I began writing book reviews for a journal that one of my colleagues edited.  That’s a good way to get into the writing mode and start to understand the publication process. You should look at a publication’s turn-around time if submitting to a scholarly journal.  Most people writing are on a tenure-track and need to publish to receive a promotion, so timing is important. And always understand the copyright provisions.  Authors should consider alternatives to the traditional modes of scholarly publication such as open-access journals.

Why is something like this important to you?

I always liked research and writing and being around books, so becoming a librarian seemed a natural fit.  Having an academic position is demanding in the sense that I am expected to teach, publish, do reference and collection development work as well join numerous university committees.   Finding time to write has become a top priority for me. Just knowing that the final product will be a contribution to the scholarship of the library field is both professionally and personally rewarding.

Laura Taddeo, Humanities Librarian, University at Buffalo