Informed Transitions

Libraries Supporting the High School to College Transition

by Kenneth J. Burhanna, Editor


Preparing students for post-secondary success is more important than ever. The higher the level of educational attainment, the more likely an individual is to be employed. Yet only about one in five students in the United States transitions successfully from high school directly to college and graduates within six years. At the same time, educational funding is under fire, many states are losing school librarians at an alarming rate, and educators at all levels face stringent budgetary constraints.

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Cover image for Informed Transitions

February 2013

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 238
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Curriculum and Instruction, K-12

How can libraries and librarians across the educational continuum work together to support student transitions from high school to college, utilizing free or low-cost resources? This book supplies the answers.

Informed Transitions: Libraries Supporting the High School to College Transition identifies the ways in which libraries and librarians can work together and create valuable resources that help students transition successfully to college—despite the challenges of increasing demand and diminishing resources.

The book is organized into three sections: background, expectations, and skills; conversations and collaborations; and programs and resources. Section 1 establishes a foundational understanding of the libraries' role in supporting college transitions. Section 2 shares model conversations that move this work forward, stressing its collaborative nature. The third section highlights some well-established programs and resources that effectively support high school to college transitions. Practical information is provided throughout, pinpointing what high school students need to know to smoothly transition to college, spotlighting the expectations of college professors, and discussing audience-specific methods of working with students at the high school and college levels.


  • Examines the role of libraries in preparing students for college success
  • Suggests low-cost strategies to provide transition support
  • Models library outreach programs for high school students
  • Discusses approaches to library and teacher professional development
  • Identifies free tools for information literacy assessment
  • Addresses college professor expectations for incoming students
Author Info

Kenneth J. Burhanna is associate professor and head of instructional services at Kent State University Libraries, Kent, OH. He has written and spoken extensively on the topic of high school outreach and supporting student transitions, including the article "Instructional Outreach to High Schools: Should You Be Doing It?" published in the journal Communications in Information Literacy. Burhanna is coauthor of Libraries Unlimited's award-winning title, A Practical Guide to Information Literacy Assessment for Academic Librarians.

Table of Contents

Annotated Bibliography of Transition LiteratureCollege ExpectationsFree and Low-Cost ResourcesInformation Literacy Standards and AssessmentPost-Secondary Enrollment Option StudentsPre-Service Teacher EducationProfessional DevelopmentSchool and Academic Librarian CollaborationState-Level CollaborationsStudents with Disabilities and the Transition to CollegeThe Early College MovementTransitions and the Community College

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