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Michael Schwartz Library

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Michael Schwartz Library

High School to College: Resources for Librarians and Teachers: College Goes to High School

This guide is designed to provide practical and useful information for librarians and teachers interested in preparing high school students academically for college courses and research.

AASL and ACRL Standards

Academic and school librarians are working towards the same goal - information literate citizens!

Information Literacy Tutorials

Although the tutorials listed here were created for college students, they are also appropriate for teaching high school students.

Plagiarism Tutorials

Help students recognize plagiarism.

MLA Tutorials and Quizzes

Lesson Plan Collections Online

Lesson Plans

Unable to Visit an Academic Library?


Visiting an academic library is not the only way high school librarians and teachers can help their students prepare for college. 

If you are limited by time or funding consider the ideas listed on this page to create a college experience in your media center. 

Virtual Experiences

  • Transitioning to College
    This site was developed at Kent State University with input from high school and academic librarians to assist first year students in transitioning from high school to college. It offers a set of learning modules that highlight the major differences between high school and college with emphasis on academic libraries and research. Students can watch videos on their own or as a class. 
  • Video conference visit with an academic librarians. 
  • Know How to Go 
    Created by the American Council on Education, Lumina Foundation for Education and the Ad Council, this site encourage 8th through 10th graders to prepare for college using four simple steps.
  • Mapping Your Future
    A national collaborative, public-service, nonprofit organization providing career, college, financial aid, and financial literacy information and services for students, families, and schools.

    Woman being blow away by computer

  • Video taped interviews of recent high school graduates currently enrolled in college and/or college professors.
  • Utilize the online information literacy tutorials targeting college students (consult suggestions on the left). Search You Tube for videos that cover various informationliteracy topics.
  • Explore college library websites. Some college libraries, such as Cleveland State, offer a virtual tour students can view to get familair with academic libraries. 

Classroom Experiences

Guest Speakers

Consider inviting guest speakers to talk about all aspects of the college experience.  Guests might include college librarian, professor, academic advisor, or current college students.

Outstanding Book Display

Encourage students to read by maintaining an attractive display of classics and best books for young adults from YALSA's annual list. Rotate the titles in the display frequently. Many colleges and universities have common reading programs.  Introduce the concept of a common reading to help students understand the purpose of this program.  Identify students that are avid readers and enlist them to write book reviews that can be posted with the display.  Investigate how to create a podcasts and asks students to record their book reviews. Post the reviews on the library website.  

The Classic Research Paper

The research paper is alive and well on college campuses across the nation.  Work with a teacher to plan a series of library sessions that occur at crucial points in the research process. Suggested library sessions: selecting and narrowing a topic; brainstorming techniques; searching the catalog; searching the databases; evaluating sources; plagiarism; and citation styles. Students will learn time management skills if you allow them to map out their own timeline for completing the paper.  

Spice it up -- ask students to argue a viewpoint rather than just report the facts.

Internet Resources


The College Library Online Catalog

Ask students to search the online catalog of a nearby college or university to locate resources on a topic.  Teach students about the Library of Congress Classification System

Teach students how to search the OhioLINK Library catalog and explain the process of requesting materials. Students with a Greater Access Card may request items through OhioLINK and have them sent to their local Cuyahoga County Public Library branch. This is also a good time to explain the inter-library loan services offered by academic libraries.

Internet Resources

Research Databases

Introduce students to the research databases they are most likely to encounter at an academic library. Schools with access to INFOhio resources will find that most of the EBSCO databases are good choices for this exercise.  Recommended databases include: Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, ERIC, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Humanities International, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection.

Discuss the features and limiters in these databases.  Use the "scholarly/peer reviewed" limiter to spark a discussion about the difference between popular and peer reviewed sources. Ask students to use the database to locate an article from a popular and a peer reviewed periodical.  Instruct students to compare the articles and create a list of how the articles are differ, especially in regards to content. 

Internet Resources

OELMA Conference 2012: Preparing High School Students for a Bright Future

Librarians have been lighting the way to college and career readiness for decades. With the implementation of the Common Core Standards on the horizon, school librarians have a fresh opportunity to breathe new life into their library instruction programs and enlighten students' minds. During this session the presenter will compare the AASL and ACRL information literacy standards and illuminate their presence in the new Common Core. Using all three standards as a framework, the presenter will share lesson plans designed to teach high school students essential information literacy skills that will help them sparkle and shine in college and the workplace. Participants will have the opportunity to share their lesson plans and discuss best practices for college and career readiness.


OELMA Conference 2012