Member of the Week: Melissa L. Miller

Melissa L. Miller

Melissa L. MillerMelissa L. Miller is the Hoose Library of Philosophy supervisor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Melissa first joined ACRL in 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 23, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, organized, enthusiastic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild. It is about a 300 year old oil sketch The Improbability of Love that turns out to be a lost Watteau that was once owned by Voltaire and Catherine the Great and is now owned by a woman named Annie trying to rebuild her life in London. Unbeknownst to Annie, the Watteau is worth millions and the road to this discovery thrusts her into the nefarious London art scene. Also, I’m in the middle of reading Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience by Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. This book explores how our emotions influence our motivations, interests, and persistence and therefore learning. Immordino-Yang is an associate professor at USC in neuroscience, education, and psychology. Last but not least, I’m just starting The Alienist: A Novel (Dr. Lazlo Kriezler Book 1) by Caleb Carr. Carr notes, “prior to the twentieth century experts who studied mental pathologies were known as alienists.” The novel is set in the late 1800s in New York City and centers around the search for a serial killer.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, innovative, inclusive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL is the robust offering of resources and tools for all stages and facets of academic librarianship. Also, the sense of community and belonging ACRL provides.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I manage the USC Hoose Library of Philosophy, which includes student assistant budgeting and forecasting, student-centered training and projects, and managing the budget for our materials and supplies expenditures. Also for USC Libraries, I provide in-person and virtual reference and research consultation services, I actively contribute to the teaching and information literacy programs in the USC Writing Program, General Education Program, and disciplinary initiatives. I actively participate in several USC Libraries committees to develop student-focused services that contribute to the transformation of instruction, outreach, reference, and collections at USC Libraries. I really enjoy creating disciplinary and thematic research guides to highlight library services, collections and resources, as well as campus events such as USC Visions and Voices university-wide arts and humanities initiative.

6. In your own words: I believe librarians are interdisciplinary scholars who play a key role in the development of student agency and identity through knowledge and strategies to increase motivation, self-efficacy, and self-determination including time management, planning, and setting goals. Most importantly librarians are facilitators of communities of support. I am grateful to have a terrific community of support and several wonderful mentors through the USC Libraries. One mentor in particular is Dr. Ross Scimeca. I have been working with and mentored by Ross for a little over four years in all aspects of librarianship from outreach, research and reference to information literacy instruction to the importance of library spaces and collections. Also, being a member of the senior capstone projects research advisory group, along with Ross and Dr. Sophie Lesinska, for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences English and Narrative Studies Departments for the last two years has had a tremendous impact on my approach to student-centered teaching and learning. Working closely with students and engaging in the strategic research process in connection to their personal narratives ignited my pursuit of an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to develop and synthesize my research, teaching and leadership knowledge and skills through an interdisciplinary approach to all that I do.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.