Jennifer Torreano

Designing Spaces, Mapping Disciplines: Toward Better Collaboration Between Writing Centers and Libraries

The Mary Idema Pew Learning Commons will include a Knowledge Market, which is a space in which various tutoring and other student support services around campus can "roost" and provide services to students working in the library. As the writing center looks ahead to working in this space, we are interested in exploring what writing centers and libraries have to offer one another in transforming the work that we do, with the end goal being that students experience a smooth, integrated, supportive environment that nurtures their writing and their research.

This project aims to answer the following questions: How can writing center theory and practice, and core principles in libraries, inform each other and push each other toward better collaborative models? Given their similarities and differences, how can libraries and writing centers collaborate in physical and virtual spaces? I will begin by reading about existing writing center and library collaborations to learn how we might best begin collaboration here at GVSU. I will also use rhetorical analysis to examine white-paper statements of philosophy published by composition studies, writing center, and library professional organizations to find areas of overlap, but also areas of departure. I will visit writing centers that are housed in libraries, conducting case studies that describe the spacial, technological, programming, and philosophical points of contact and divergence so that we might better understand the ways in which writing centers and libraries do (and do not) collaborate in meaningful ways. We hope that this project will result in a unique and meaningful collaboration which will benefit the students of Grand Valley in new ways.

Faculty Mentor: Ellen Schendel, Writing


Jennifer presented at the International Writing Center Association - NCPTW Conference 2010 November 4-6, 2010 in Baltimore, MD.

Page last modified March 24, 2014