Alison Miller, the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) Consortium coordinator at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, was appointed to the board of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries for a three-year term.

As a board member, Miller will be involved in the decisions and initiatives to improve rural and small libraries–organizations she has grown to know well throughout much of her career.

“I live in a very rural area so there are a couple different things I’m hoping to work on with the board,” she said. “I think rural and small libraries could benefit more from ARSL in terms of virtual services, like virtual reference services, virtual collection development, virtual collection services, and social networking.”

Miller was inspired to start in the field of information literacy while she was working as New York State corrections officer with a criminology degree from Keuka College.

“I realized that information literacy and literacy in general, especially among the younger inmate population, was a huge concern for me so I transitioned into the field to promote information literacy,” she said.

Miller’s first position in the field of information was as a youth services coordinator at the Dundee Public Library, where she worked while earning a master’s degree in library science online from Drexel University. Now, as a result of her work at Drexel, she manages the ipl2 (resulting from a merger between the Internet Public Library and Librarians’ Internet Index), and hopes to connect rural and small libraries that are unable to offer reference services.

“I’m hoping to form a partnership between IPL2 and ARSL,” Miller said. “I’m hoping that some of the students from all different library schools that work for IPL2 will be able to help with the ARSL initiatives.”

The ARSL initiatives Miller hopes to accomplish are for both the association and rural libraries.

“I don’t think rural and small libraries are aware or connected enough to the association, and I’m hoping there is a two-way benefit,” Miller said. “The libraries will benefit from more knowledge of what the association can do for them, and the association will benefit from the libraries’ feedback and trying out different initiatives integral in the workings of smaller libraries.”

Miller’s appointment started officially with her first board meeting at the ARSL conference in October in Denver. At the meeting she was elected secretary of the board.