The library and the common reader program: a collaborative effort to college transition

Anamika Megwalu (San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)
Christina Miller (York College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA)
Cynthia R. Haller (York College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 14 August 2017



This paper aims to describe the inception and continuation of a collaborative effort between York College’s Common Reader program and the York College Library. The Common Reader program comprises academic and extracurricular activities designed to help achieve the goals of York College’s First Year Experience Program to assist in the successful transition, achievement and retention of first-year students at York College, The City University of New York.


The Common Reader Committee was initially comprising only of participating classroom faculty and Student Development staff. York College Library was invited to help with one of the extracurricular events. Subsequently, the collaboration was considered essential to the success of the Common Reader program. This paper describes the library’s role in supporting the initiative.


The library is an active member of York’s Common Reader Committee and is involved in the selection of the Common Reader book; publicity of the program; promotion of library resources and services; and the programming of extracurricular events. Involvement in these areas allows the library to collaboratively build a learning community, integrate information literacy skills into the curricula, nurture the practice of critical reading and help students feel connected in a new academic environment.


Many colleges have implemented common reading programs, and, in many cases, libraries have been involved in the program in some shape or form. However, at York College, there is a strategic partnership between the library and the Common Reader program. Such a partnership has made it possible for the library to be deeply involved in helping students transition to college life.



Megwalu, A., Miller, C. and Haller, C. (2017), "The library and the common reader program: a collaborative effort to college transition", Reference Services Review, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 440-453.

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