2015 Conference Call for Participation

Information Literacy and Writing Programs: Collaborating Toward the Future

January 9-10, 2015 | Illinois Wesleyan University














This year’s SLACWPA conference will take place on January 9th and 10th on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL. Information about registration and hotel accommodations can be found on the “2015 Conference Registration and Lodging” tab, above.

Writing programs have long sought to cultivate students’ abilities to be effective researchers, critical readers, and responsible communicators of both their own and others’ ideas. Writing professionals often have extended working relationships with librarians, even if only, for example, to encourage writing courses to incorporate “a visit to the library” in their course plans. As our colleges commit to ensuring students demonstrate  proficiency in the wide range of abilities we call information literacy, we are reminded that writing doesn’t stand alone as a skill distinct from critical inquiry, research, or digital practices. Nor should our writing programs, our libraries, and our information technology resources simply “visit” each other’s areas of expertise; instead, we should work together to effect change  across our campuses.

We invite proposals that address the ways in which WPA’s can foster productive collaboration around issues of information literacy, with and between various campus constituencies–such as research librarians, IT professionals, faculty and peer tutors–as we all think more deeply about what it means to ask critical questions, do sophisticated research, and share knowledge through both traditional genres and new media. We especially welcome case studies of successful projects (large or small) involving collaboration between WPA’s and librarians and/or IT professionals.

Examples of questions or topics we might explore include:

  • How can we collaborate fruitfully with research librarians and other staff on our campuses to present a cohesive vision for information literacy in and across our curricula?
  • How do we support faculty whose expectations about how to do research and utilize source materials can differ greatly from students’ practices?
  • What are interesting models for making critical inquiry a relevant and vibrant enterprise for students from the first year on? In particular, what are useful models for supporting advanced student writers across the disciplines?
  • What are the potentials (and possible limitations) of training tutors to assist peers with such information literacy tasks as advanced search strategies, source selection, and critical reading?
  • How might we design assessments of information literacy that complement our writing assessments and, in turn, strengthen the resources we offer to faculty and students?


Four Ways to Participate

Continuing SLAWPA’s tradition of more collaborative discussion and fewer individual presentations, and to provide space for as many participants as possible, we offer four different ways to participate at the conference:

  • As a participant in a roundtable

Roundtable participants will have 5 minutes each to introduce a theme and raise one or two open questions for consideration; the session will then move to an open discussion. The conference committee will group proposals into roundtables by theme; alternatively, participants can propose a roundtable of three or four individuals focused on a specific theme.

  • By leading a discussion or workshop

Leaders will begin their sessions with a short (5-10 minute) presentation; then facilitate a small group discussion or workshop (30 minutes) on a topic addressing the conference theme. Participants will choose from a range of options for the specific discussion session they wish to attend.

  • As an individual presenter

Each presenter will propose a specific topic and prepare a 5-10 minute presentation to share with the entire conference. Individual presenters will be grouped by theme into a panel.

  • As a speed sharer/mini-session moderator (a SLACWPA tradition)

Speed sharers will propose a focused, specific topic. Speed sharers begin their session with a short (3-5 minute) presentation, and then facilitate a small-group discussion (10 minutes). Conference attendees rotate through several fifteen-minute mini-sessions during the speed-sharing timeslot. Speed-sharing topics do not necessarily need to address the conference theme. This is a chance for us to exchange a range of ideas to help our programs.


If you would like to be considered for the program, determine which presentation format you prefer. Please include a 250- to 300-word abstract explaining your proposed topic, noting whether your session will draw primarily on theory, practice, or your own research. This abstract should also include a brief description of your purpose (that is, what you hope other participants will learn or accomplish during your session).


Please submit your proposal online by Wednesday, October 15, 2014.