Transfer Student Success: Academic Library Outreach and Engagement

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Tailor your institution’s approach to transfer students using this collection’s creative ideas for orientations, library instruction, partnerships with like-minded campus groups, and other initiatives.

Higher ed admission teams are aggressively recruiting transfers—and they’re finding success. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, about 38 percent of all students in higher ed in the United States have transferred at least once. If you don’t include transfer students in your outreach and instruction planning, you’re missing a significant portion of the student body. However, to meet the needs of this population requires academic libraries to rethink assumptions about incoming students. Gathering 17 case studies, the editors present a rich and nuanced picture of academic library services to transfer students that will empower you to achieve transfer student success. You will learn about

  • organizing around the strengths of transfer students;
  • applying design thinking to ease transfer students’ “culture shock”;
  • using autoethnography narratives to better understand the transfer student experience;
  • revamping a transfer student success course by incorporating student reflections;
  • building a campus network of transfer student support and information sharing;
  • partnering with military and veteran support groups on campus;
  • recruiting transfer students to a campus peer mentor program;
  • serving students in health sciences bridge programs;
  • building connections with a fiction book club; and
  • creating personal librarian programs or librarian positions dedicated to transfer students.

Literature Review: Library Services to Transfer Students: Samantha Kannegiser, Julie M. Still

Part I        Welcome to the University: Orientation and Outreach Efforts for New Transfer Students
Chapter 1    Developing Transfer Student Programming: From Research to Application 
Linda Whang, Amanda Hornby, and Emilie Vrbancic

Chapter 2    Peer Mentoring and Transfer Student Outreach in the Libraries
Annie Dempsey

Chapter 3    Getting a Return on Your Investment: Librarians and Transfer Students
Kelly C. McCallister, Kelly C. Rhodes, and Margaret N. Gregor

Chapter 4    Evolving for Success: Transfer Student Services
Anne Pemberton and Tammy Ivins

Chapter 5    Virtual Outreach to Transfer Students at an Urban Institution
Matthew Harrick

Chapter 6    Designing and Developing a Personal Librarian Program for Transfer Students
Lara Fountaine and Shelby Hallman 

Chapter 7    How to Build a Successful Personal Librarian Program for Transfer Students
Kristina Clement

Part II        Engagement beyond the Classroom: Cocurricular Efforts to Engage with Transfer Students
Chapter 8    Peer Reference to Help Transfer Students Make the Transition
Lydia Copeland Gwyn

Chapter 9    Using Collaborative Autoethnography to Explore the Transfer Student Experience
Donna Harp Ziegenfuss and Kayaunna Swartzmiller

Chapter 10    A Fiction Book Club and the Transfer Experience
Alaina C. Bull and Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman

Chapter 11    New Initiatives, New Collaborations: “Breaking into the Box” to Support Transfer Student Transition
Linda M. Krzykowski and Trudi E. Jacobson

Chapter 12    Enhancing the Transfer Student Experience through Campus Connections
Alexander Deeke and Jesus Espinoza

Part III    Building on Transfer Capital: Instruction, Information Literacy, and Research Efforts to Support Student Success
Chapter 13    Measuring the Transfer Experience: Assessing and Improving Information Literacy Skills for Transfer Students and First-year Registrants
Sarah P. C. Dahlen and Jeff D. Corrigan

Chapter14    Assisting Nontraditional Health Sciences Students in Bridge Programs
Elizabeth O. Moreton and Karen S. Grigg

Chapter 15    Empowering Transfer Student Scholars Using Metacognitive Reflection
Matthew Atherton and Allison Carr

Chapter 16    Online Library Research Refresher Activities for Third-Year Transfer Students
Nia Lam and Chelsea Nesvig

Chapter 17    Upper-Level-Only Institution Library Services and Instruction
Margaret Dawson


  • Appendix A    Email Message Examples (Chapter 6, North Carolina State University)
  • Appendix B    Library Ambassador Pre-, Post-, and Midassessment (Chapter 8, East Tennessee State University)
  • Appendix C    Information Literacy VALUE Rubric (Chapter 13, California State University, Monterey Bay)
  • Appendix D    BIS 300 Library Research Refresher: Campus Library Resources (Chapter 16, University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College Campus Library)
  • Appendix E    BIS 300 Library Research Refresher: Boolean Search Strategies (Chapter 16, University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College Campus Library)

About the Editors and Contributors 

Nancy Fawley

Nancy Fawley has spent her career working in academic libraries primarily in reference and instruction. She has held previous leadership positions at the University of Vermont, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Alabama, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Fawley holds an MLIS from the University of Kentucky. She previously coedited The Discovery Tool Cookbook: Recipes for Successful Lesson Plans (2016), published by ACRL.

Ann Marshall

Ann Marshall is an Information Services and Instruction librarian at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW), where she is also the government information librarian and library liaison to several departments within the PFW College of Arts and Sciences. Marshall has coauthored publications in Library Hi Tech, Library Journal and College & Research Libraries News. She holds an MLS from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies and a PhD from the Maxwell School’s Social Science Program, also at Syracuse University.

Mark Robison

Mark Robison is Political Science and Peace Studies librarian at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries. He also serves as an adjunct instructor for the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies. Robison holds an MLS from Indiana University Bloomington. In addition to the research he has coauthored with the other editors, he wrote an earlier, single-authored journal article on transfer students’ information literacy experiences.