Connecting 2-year college librarians with 4-year college librarians

November 23, 2015 / by Lindsay Mullen


This year, approximately 550,000 students transferred from community colleges to four-year colleges and universities. In order to make sure these students have everything they need to navigate their transfer and complete their college career successfully at their new institution, it’s essential that they have the support they need from both their two-year community college and their four-year institution. What’s a big part of that? You guessed it: the academic library.

The academic success of transfer students is largely dependent on their information literacy. When a student transfers, their new institution may not have a full grasp on their research and writing abilities. However, when a group of librarians from the different institutions got together to discuss information literacy instruction, they found that they could ease students’ transfer experiences by helping make sure they had the necessary library skills.

Are you looking to connect with librarians from institutions where transfer students often come from or transfer into? Read on for our suggestions to collaborate.

Identify transfer institutions

Does your college or university have a lot of students transferring in each year? Are your students often transferring elsewhere? Either way, it’s essential to figure out where students are going and where they’re coming from. Work with your institution’s admissions office to familiarize yourself with these patterns, and then send friendly emails to the head librarians at each of those schools. Invite them to connect to discuss how you all reach students, what needs transfer students have and how you can help each other help students succeed.

Discuss your outreach strategies

Once you get your fellow librarians together to talk about transfer students, discuss your individual library outreach strategies. Do you offer freshman orientation sessions to get students accustomed to the stacks? Are assistant librarians common presences in thesis research seminars, writing courses and general education requirements? What best practices do you all espouse? Once you know how each library works to spread word on campus, you’ll have a better idea of how to work together.

Discuss research practices

What kinds of research do students need to perform at your different institutions? Do you require a 125-page thesis from every senior or can students get by without the intense hours browsing through EBSCOHost? If you find that students are transferring into your institution without the library skills necessary for their workload, connect with the librarian at their former institution to determine if they have suggestions. You can also set up events that bring together librarians from other institutions with students to talk to them about their research methods, writing opportunities and the library skills they expect students to have. You’ll be preparing potential transfer students to succeed, no matter where they end up.

Let us know: how do you connect and communicate with other academic librarians?

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Topics: Higher Ed

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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