Member of the Week: Alison Miller

Alison MillerAlison Miller is Manager, ipl2 Reference Services at the iSchool at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Alison has been an ACRL member since 2009 and is your ACRL member of the week.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, Dedicated, Passionate.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your iPod)? I am reading The Atlas of New Librarianship by R. David Lankes, due for publication in 2011. When I am able to, I listen to the T is for Training and Adventures in Library Instruction podcasts on my iPod.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, Educational, Exceptional.

4. Why did you join ACRL? I joined ACRL to connect and network with other academic librarians and to contribute to the field. I began as a librarian in a public library and transitioned to an academic setting in a private college for a short time. I really enjoyed the experience. As I was pursuing my MS LIS, one of my first instructors emphasized the importance of joining associations and volunteering as a way to learn and contribute. In joining ALA, I looked for divisions that I would most benefit from and that best fit with my interests. Once I found ACRL, I became a committee member for the ACRL DLS liaison committee and I am able to further connect and participate while also meeting and working with some really great people.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? For me, the value of all librarianship is to work with members of the library community in the way that best meets their needs. In the academic realm, this includes students, faculty and colleagues.  I am particularly interested in the role of the academic librarian in distance education — particularly, researching collaboration among faculty and librarians in the distance learning environment through the lens of Social Presence Theory.

6. In your own words: I feel very lucky to be part of a profession that is so passionate, so relevant and so giving.  As a student, I have fond memories of some of the amazing librarians that have helped me and I hope to create those memories for other students.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.