Researcher of the Month: November 2020

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program

Meet the Faculty Member: Sophia Sotilleo

Sophia Sotilleo

Associate Professor and Interim Library Director, Langston Hughes Memorial Library

Number of Years at Lincoln: 
14 years 

Research Focus Brief description:

Liaison/Outreach Engagement - Strengthening Curriculums/Academic Programs through Embedded Librarianship 
Collaboration and active engagement are essential aspects of liaison work that is done by academic librarians. Once you have developed a relationship with the department and its faculty and staff, the work begins to take shape, and extraordinary activities begin. The activities vary based on the department's needs and how much the librarian is willing and able to accomplish. My research has allowed me to write book chapters, present at conferences, and serve on boards to help navigate this process. My research has also afforded me the privilege of working in the community with different libraries and organizations. I enjoy this work and the research that I continue to develop around it. I am always excited about the various opportunities and service opportunities it has allowed for me. This research is ongoing for me because every program, department, and curriculum has different needs. I find my research interesting because; whenever I meet with departments or programs, we have various ideas and thoughts on our projects. However, one goal that is common and that we agree on is to ensure that students/patrons will walk away with one of the most important lifelong learning skills: Information Literacy.

The relevance of research: broader implications

When I think about the definition of scholarship and its application as part of the higher learning process for students, especially students of color, I can see its relevance. This research helps to encourage librarians, and it also helps to support the work that we do. In the age of technology and online access for all, librarians are continually defending the relevance of libraries and librarians. One of my favorite library quotes (I have many) is from Charles William Eliot. He says, "The library is the heart of the University." If we think about how important the heart is to the body, we can only imagine how important the library is to a University or a community. However, we want a healthy and productive heart and ongoing research that speaks to how embedded librarianship and the relevant work that the Liaison Librarian does will continue and will reflect throughout the university and our community.

Plans for the future

I want to continue to develop my research on access, advocacy, and leadership in the field of Librarianship. Along with having a passion for introducing and teaching about the library and to everyone I meet, I am passionate about programs that empower, educate, and encourage everyone to explore different ways to enhance and reach their desired goals. Especially programs that allow me to work with students.