WASHINGTON, D.C. and MCHENRY, IL, Jan. 30, 2017 — Shannon McClintock Miller, a recognized and respected K-12 library leader, is the new spokesperson for Future Ready Schools Librarians and Project Connect. Miller previously served as the district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa for eight years, and currently is an international speaker and author of an award-winning blog.
Followed widely on social media by librarians and education advocates, Miller has long been dedicated to Future Ready Schools initiatives that underscore the expertise of the librarian and the importance of including library staff in all curriculum and teaching decisions as districts make the transition to digital learning.
"It's an honor for me to start this new chapter in my career, along with a dynamic group of people who share my passion for libraries, learning, and the children we serve," Miller said. "Teacher librarians have the power to create incredible and essential change by being leaders, teachers, advocates, connectors, collaborators and so much more for the children, teachers and communities they serve."
Last summer, Future Ready Schools (FRS) – led by the Alliance for Excellent Education – formed Future Ready Librarians (FRL), an expansion of the FRS initiative aimed at positioning librarians as leaders in the digital transformation of learning. Project Connect was formed by Follett to advocate for librarians to serve as leaders in their district and schools.
"In today's digital world, the school library has evolved from a place to merely check out books to one that offers opportunities for collaboration, project-based learning, and online access," said Bob Wise, president, Alliance for Excellent Education. "Similarly, librarians are now playing central roles in school leadership and working daily with students, teachers, and administrators. Through her work with Future Ready Librarians, Shannon will help school librarians be better equipped to support teachers in their transition to a digital learning environment while helping librarians themselves become more future ready."
In her new role, Miller joins Mark Ray as spokespersons for Follett's Project Connect. Nationally recognized for transforming the role of the school librarian into a technological innovator in schools, Ray is chief digital officer for Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools and a past Washington State Teacher of the Year.
"With such passionate and respected spokespersons in Mark and now Shannon, we will be able to raise our profile even more," said Britten Follett, director of Project Connect. "Through Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect, we can continue to impact the role libraries play in a bright future for every learner."
In February, Miller and Ray will be introducing the "Future Ready Librarians Webinar Series," a bimonthly program designed to introduce the FRL initiative and how information and technology professionals can support FRS. The first webinar – "Future Ready Librarians: What's Not to Love?" – is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 14, and will feature Miller, Ray and Sara Trettin from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology, as panelists. To register, visit all4ed.org/webinar-event/feb-14-2017. The webinar series is sponsored by FRS and Project Connect.
Miller is the author of the blog, The Library Voice, and has more than 50,000 Twitter followers. She is currently writing two children's books series with Cantata Learning. In 2014, she was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker," and in 2016 was named the winner of the "Making It Happen" award by ISTE.
"As I look to the future," Miller said, "I can't help but think of all the ways we can empower Future Ready librarians and teachers around the world to build programs and schools that truly make a difference today and in years to come."
Future Ready Schools
Future Ready Schools is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations. Find FRS on Facebook and follow on Twitter (twitter.com/FutureReady).
Follett formed Project Connect to advocate for librarians as district leaders so that students can learn digital literacy, modern research techniques and cutting-edge skills that apply across all subject areas. Project Connect helps librarians transform their library spaces into vibrant hubs of digital learning by giving them ideas and resources to become future ready. It recently launched Professional Development courses for librarians; these online Microcredential courses help librarians and other educators develop a vision and plan to promote digital learning in their library.
About The Alliance for Excellent Education
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, a career, and citizenship.