February 17, 2018

Eva Miller | Movers & Shakers 2004


Ordering Chaos


Eva Miller has a knack for creating order out of disorder. She single-handedly brought Oregon’s virtual reference service, Answerland, live in just under 90 days, says Rivkah Sass, now director of the Omaha Public Library. Miller created its web site, designed the graphics, developed marketing materials, and recruited and trained librarians–all while continuing to do her regular job. Though the heavy-duty keyboard work involved left Miller with lingering tendonitis, she says it was the most fun she’s had as a librarian.

Now Special Projects Librarian at Multnomah County Library, Miller works on the InformACTion Public Library Web Portal, created to provide Oregon’s public libraries with a dynamic web presence through content management tools, great web site collections, and vital community information. Miller says that an excellent web presence is essential to raise the profile of libraries in the competitive information marketplace.

Miller originally worked in several Internet start-up companies, and since she thrives on ‘taking a disorganized mess and turning it into a well-defined job,’ she performed well in that environment. But she became increasingly troubled by the notion of turning a public good–access to information–into a commodity. When she realized that ‘librarians make valuable knowledge accessible to everyone and offer services at no cost,’ she decided to put her technical skills to better use.

She thinks librarians can’t afford to leave technology decisions to people like her and believes that every librarian should understand how information technologies work. ‘It’s difficult to manage those functions,’ she says, ‘when you’re unaware of what is possible.’

Do you have some chaos that needs organizing? Do you need someone who combines a public service ethic with a market that delivers product on deadline? You need an Eva Miller. It’s a pity there aren’t enough to go around.




Current Position: Special Projects Librarian, Reference and Information Services, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Degree: M.S. in Information, University of Michigan School of Information, 1998
Projects: Answerland (www.answerland.org ) and the InformACTion Public Library Web Portal