Salas Wins Library Faculty Engagement Award

Dr. Consuelo Carr Salas is the recipient of the 2018 J. Murrey Atkins Library Faculty Engagement Award. Salas is an assistant professor with the University Writing Program and the Department of English in UNC Charlotte’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She will be honored during a Library Social and Faculty Award Ceremony on September 6, 2018, in the Library’s Halton Reading Room; the event begins at 4:00 PM.

Each fall, the Atkins Library Faculty Engagement Award is presented to a UNC Charlotte faculty member who has engaged in innovative or exceptional work with library collections, programs, and services. The award, along with a $2500 allocation for professional development, enables the library to recognize outstanding faculty contributions to the library’s mission, vision, and strategic initiatives.

Dr. Salas was nominated for the award by Kim Looby, Instruction & Information Literacy Librarian at Atkins Library. The award committee recognized Dr. Salas for her collaboration with the library to promote information literacy. Throughout the 2017-18 school year, Dr. Salas worked with librarians Looby, Natalie Ornat, and Beth Caruso within her UWRT 1103 and LBST 2301 Critical Thinking and Communication (CTC) courses.

Looby and Salas worked together first to create a total of six co-facilitated class periods, which consisted of topics such as an information timeline, creating effective research questions, turning research questions into search terms, and librarian consultations.  Ornat joined in the spring of 2018 to help with the new CTC course concentrated on Visual Rhetoric, and expanded the six sessions into twelve. They pre- and post-tested students’ level of information literacy with a survey. With that data, they worked with students to turn their research questions into search terms, use their search terms to find reliable and credible sources, create a research map, and finally learn about fair use and APA citation of images. They continued to work during the summer and have evaluated, modified, and adjusted their lesson plans for this semester.

Caruso joined for an additional four class periods and provided all 35 of Salas’ CTC students with the Library’s Visualization Lab orientation and in-depth training of specific software. As a result, the students were able to create their final assignment, a visual argument, and are now certified to use the VisLab for future projects in future courses.  

“Dr. Salas continues to be a voice and advocate within the University Writing Program for expanding faculty/librarian collaboration,” said Kim Looby. “Last semester I saw an increase in requests for different styles of workshops from other writing program faculty, which is a direct result of Consuelo’s impactful, supportive voice for increasing the level of collaboration between the University Writing Program and the library.”

Dr. Salas credits Atkins’ librarians for being an integral part of her courses and students’ learning.  She believes the collaborative curriculum has prepared students not only for their future university coursework, but for their future professions and to be critical and engaged citizens.

”The librarians of the J. Murrey Atkins Library harbor an essential knowledge that is crucial for my continued development as a teacher and scholar,” said Dr. Salas. “It has become my goal to collaborate, learn from, and incorporate their knowledge and expertise in my classrooms and research.”

Dr. Salas has become an informal champion for the Atkins Library, and regularly speaks to and advocates for the role of librarians in the classroom. She represented Atkins Library during the UNC Charlotte Faculty Showcase at a roundtable discussion titled “Classroom Partnerships: Creating Information Literate Students.”  Salas plans to continue working with librarians in future courses, and is currently turning this collaboration into conference presentations and future publications.

UNC Charlotte faculty and staff are invited to attend the ceremony and social on September 6.  The event will be an opportunity for faculty to meet with librarians who can support their research, instruction and scholarship in numerous ways. For more information, contact the chair of the Faculty Engagement Award Committee, Amanda Binder, at or 704-687-1771.