Supporting Transfer Student Success

The Essential Role of College and University Libraries

by Peggy L. Nuhn and Karen F. Kaufmann


Teaches libraries to realistically support transfer student success by ensuring that students have essential information literacy skills.

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Cover image for Supporting Transfer Student Success

July 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 150
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Information Literacy and Instruction, College Level and Above
  Adult Services and Programs/General
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This research-based book with practical applications teaches academic librarians to support their transfer students effectively at both universities and community colleges, even when transfer students' information literacy needs differ from those of other students.

Colleges and universities across the United States serve a large and growing population of transfer students. Current estimates suggest that more than one third of college students transfer from one institution of higher education to another at least once. At some institutions, transfer students compose up to fifty to sixty percent of the new incoming class. Academic librarians' understanding of the demographics and potential needs of transfer students is essential to supporting their success and mitigating "transfer shock."

Just as public libraries often bridge gaps between individuals and services, academic libraries can proactively support the often unique needs of transfer students by spearheading textbook affordability initiatives, developing innovative programming, and making appropriate referrals to non-library student services. In this practical guide to supporting transfer students, authors Peggy L. Nuhn and Karen F. Kaufmann teach academic librarians how to optimize information literacy instruction, support research, help reduce stress, and connect the library to virtual students. They emphasize the importance of establishing partnerships with feeder institutions and other campus departments to best support transfer student success.


  • Teaches academic librarians and stakeholders to understand the holistic value of the academic library to transfer student success
  • Defines the concept of "transfer shock" and explains how academic librarians and libraries can mitigate this phenomenon
  • Outlines key theoretical and practical applications of information spaces, information science, and information literacy as applied to the transfer student academic experience
Author Info

Peggy L. Nuhn is a "connect" faculty librarian at the University of Central Florida's Sanford/Lake Mary campus, a joint campus with Seminole State College of Florida, where she teaches information literacy for university and college students. Nuhn is a graduate of the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, has served on the board of the Florida Library Association, and has presented on student information literacy and the importance of librarian collaboration for transfer student success at statewide and national conferences. She holds a BS in business management from Franklin University and an MLIS from the University of South Florida.

Karen F. Kaufmann is a research and instruction faculty librarian at Seminole State College of Florida. Kaufmann has served as the postdoctoral research assistant for the Gateway PhD Program School of Information at San José State University. Her research interests include information literacy, information fluency, user relevance, and user information experience. Kaufmann holds a PhD in information science from Queensland University of Technology and an MLIS from the University of South Florida. Kaufmann was a Beta Phi Mu International Library and Information Studies Honor Society recipient of the 2017 Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Other Titles of Interest

Information Literacy for Today's Diverse Students cover imageUser-Centered Design for First-Year Library Instruction Programs cover imageTransforming Information Literacy Instruction cover image
The Pivotal Role of Academic Librarians in Digital Learning cover imagePeer-Assisted Learning in Academic Libraries cover imageEnhancing Library and Information Research Skills cover image

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