Librarian Profile: Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller

Teacher Librarian and Technology Integrationist
Van Meter Schools, IA

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If you’re looking for a librarian who leverages technology and social media for both students and professional development, look no further than Shannon Miller. If you’ve searched for anything library-related on Twitter, chances are she’s popped up on your feed–with over 20,000 followers and 45,000 tweets, she’s hard to miss. Shannon and I caught up about what led her to librarianship, how she uses online media in the classroom and research struggles her students face.

Shannon graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, where she attended for both her Bachelor’s (Design and Elementary Education) and her Master’s (School Library Studies). While a at UNI, she worked as a student youth librarian for a couple of years and loved being in the library. “I have a love for creativity, art and technology, so school librarianship was a good fit,” Shan said. “I sort of jumped into it all at once.”

How does she encourage her students from using search engines for school research? It’s tough, she says, because that habit is ingrained from a young age — “Even the little ones say, ‘We can just Google that!’” Using Finding Dulcinea and SweetSearch helps, but she still experiences the struggle of directing her students to research. Shannon also has people come to the classroom — both physically and digitally — to teach her kids about research. Last year, I Skyped with Shannon and some of her students about how EasyBib can alleviate their research woes.

I wanted to pick her brain about social networking — in just a few years, Shannon has made a huge name for herself using social media. So, how does she do it? “Um… I don’t sleep a lot?” Shannon said, jokingly. She sang praises about Twitter, her primary form of professional communication online. “All these people are using great new tools, and we have the power to share them with others.”

“Every week, my goal is to find a handful of new tools, and I always write about it–showing how it connects to core curricula, how these tools are relevant, and how they can make a difference with kids. It gives other people ideas on how they can use them in their classroom.” In addition to Twitter, Shan maintains the Van Meter Library Voice, an award-winning blog about her teaching (and learning) experiences as a teacher librarian and technology integrationist.

“I don’t see being a librarian and a technology integrationist as two separate things,” she said, “Eventually, every librarian is going to have to do technology integration, and understand that it’s part of the job.”

Emily Gover is the in-house librarian for EasyBib and ResearchReady. She recently enjoyed the most delicious grilled cheese of her life and is still savoring the experience (yeah, it was that good). You can find her on Twitter, @Emily_EasyBib, or posting news you can use at the EasyBib Librarians Facebook page.

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