February 16, 2018

Alison Miller | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Innovators

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Alison Miller, Mover & Shaker

Text Appeal

“My true passion is distance learning and library services,” says Alison Miller, of “very rural” Dundee, NY. These passions are obvious in her work. Miller is both manager of library reference for ipl2, a reference service of the merged Internet Public Library and the Librarian’s Internet Index, and a key leader in the My Info Quest project (www.myinfoquest.info), a text-messaging reference program created in response to people now sending more texts than making calls. My Info Quest is staffed by more than 50 librarians nationwide who field questions with texted answers of 320 characters or less.

In addition to working two weekly shifts for My Info Quest, Miller serves on several committees, including the My Info Quest core group, which analyzes ways to bring the nascent service into the future. My Info Quest launched as a pilot program last July, a partnership between the Alliance Library System in East Peoria, IL, several other libraries, and Web Clarity Software Inc. Miller’s leadership role in July’s Handheld Librarian online conference was a factor in extending—and funding—the program through 2010. She gave a keynote at February’s Handheld Librarian 2 virtual conference.

Now pursuing a doctorate at Syracuse University, Miller admits, she tends to overextend herself. “My husband and I often joke about the ‘no’ zone, where I actually say no to requests or opportunities. But quite honestly, I rarely can turn down a good opportunity. I love to do things with and for people.”


Alison Miller, ipl2, Drexel University

CURRENT POSITION Manager, ipl2 Reference Services

DEGREE Doctorate in Professional Studies in Information Management, Syracuse University (in progress); MLIS, iSchool, Drexel University (distance program), 2008

FIRST JOB Part-time corrections officer, Yates County Jail

CONFESSION “I am an admitted tech gadget addict!”