February 17, 2018

Shannon McClintock Miller | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Innovators



District Teacher Librarian
Van Meter Community School District, IA

MA, School Library Studies, University of Northern Iowa, Summa Cum Laude, 2010; K–12 Reading Endorsement, Viterbo University, 2007

Connecting People Shorty Award

@shannonmmiller; vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com

Photo by Annie Weaver

Virtually Connected

Since Shannon Miller, a former stay-at-home mother of three, assumed the Van Meter District, IA, teacher librarian position seven years ago, youth librarianship has become a livelier and more connected field. The hands-on K–12 librarian from this rural school district is an influential speaker, blogger (The Van Meter Library Voice), tweeter, and winner of the social media Shorty Award for Connecting People, along with many other ed tech honors. She is also informing future product development as a consultant to companies such as Rosen Publishing and Mackin Educational Resources.

“It’s hard to pin down one thing Shannon is doing that sets her apart because, in truth, I take so much inspiration from everything she is doing,” says nominator and 2013 LJ Mover & Shaker Matthew Winner. “Shannon seeks new tools, new approaches, and new projects for reaching her students and providing the very best learning environment possible.”

Miller sets an inspirational example for other teacher librarians with Skype and Google Hangout sessions that bring her students together with authors, educators, and other classrooms worldwide.

Standout events include a Skype virtual poetry summit and her enthusiastic participation in World Read Aloud Day and International Dot Day, inspired by Peter Reynolds’s book The Dot (Candlewick, 2003), about student creativity and affirmation. Sharon Creech and Michael Buckley are among the many authors who have virtually conferenced with her classes.

During a recent week, Miller had scheduled six student Skype sessions over the course of four days. “My favorite thing is to Skype with other classrooms and kids,” she says. “You see that relationship, and you see the students communicating and collaborating.”

“I always want to jump into a ton of different things; that’s just my personality,” Miller adds, noting that her undergraduate studies in art education help her bring creativity to her role as a teacher librarian.

Currently, she is involved in planning an expansion of her school library, which will relocate to the center of the building (see “The Heart of the School”). Last year, she moderated School Library Journal’s (SLJ) “Be the Change” free leadership webcast series. On the national conference circuit, Miller has lectured on topics from students’ role in preventing bullying to variations on how to be a connected school leader.

“She speaks and writes everywhere,” says SLJ NeverEnding Search blogger Joyce Valenza, one of five nominators from around the country. “Over the last three or four years, Shannon has done more than any other school librarian to represent our field.”



  1. Congrats, Shannon! You are such an inspiration to me and such a bright light in our profession…this is a recognition that is well deserved! :)

    • Shannon Miller says:


      Thank you so much, friend. I love that you and I are part of this group together. Congrats to you.

      You inspire me all the time….And are such a wonderful leader in our field. We are blessed to be able to work on things together and even more blessed to be friends.

      Love, Shannon

  2. You certainly deserve this! You inspire me everyday!

    • Shannon Miller says:

      Thank you Nikki…..And you inspire me everyday. So happy you and I are part of TL News Night together. That has been a blast….and getting to know you so much better this last year has been so much fun too.

      Love, Shannon

  3. Elissa Malespina says:

    As one of those 5 nominators I can say that this is well deserved. I learn from you everyday and so lucky to call you a friend and mentor.

    • Shannon Miller says:


      Thank you, thank you dear friend…..You are so kind for nominating me and all of your words. I love our friendship and to be able to teach, plan, and collaborating together makes it even better.

      Love, Shannon

  4. Shannon you truly make the world a better place. Thank you for all you do for staff and students world wide. God bless you kind friend!

    • Shannon Miller says:

      Thank you beautiful friend. Your words mean so very much to me, Sue. This is such a honor….And to be part of our big group of educators, mentors, and friends is amazing to me every day.

      Love, Shannon

  5. WooHoo Shannon! I am so lucky to know you and have you in my PLN (personal learning network). I have enjoyed all of our face-to-face interactions at ISTE over the years. My students and I are always so grateful when we can connect with you and your students via our Skype calls. The teacher librarian community is lucky to have such a wonderful innovator inspiring them to be the best that they can be.

    • Shannon Miller says:

      Thank you so much Paula….Your words mean a lot to me. I have loved becoming your friend and getting to know your students over the past few years. I hope we connect very soon. Love, Shannon