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Oral History

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Growing up in England, Jonathan Miller never imagined he would become a librarian. He first attended the University of Sheffield, where he earned his BA in Political Theory & Institutions in 1983. After spending his 20’s living on three continents, working in all kinds of jobs, and meeting and marrying Bethany Hicok, he decided to pursue his Master of Library Science degree, which he received from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992.

Miller began his career in academic librarianship in Columbus, Ohio, where he served as the Head of Access Service of the Prior Health Science Library of the Ohio State University for four years. After a short stint as the Project Director of the Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems at the University of Iowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, he became the Automated Services Librarian at the Augustana College Library in Rock Island, Illinois, where he rose to become deputy director and then library director. In 2002, Miller became the Head of Hillman Public Services at the University of Pittsburgh while pursuing his PhD on the development of the US copyright law. In 2006, he was named the Olin Library Director of Rollins College.

At Olin, Miller led new rounds of strategic planning, which generated a redefined library mission and renewed focus on proving “exceptional services, information resources and a welcoming environment for the Rollins community.” Under his leadership, the library’s administrative structure has been reorganized, access to electronic resources substantially improved, technical service work streamlined, reference services reconfigured, departmental budgets consolidated, the main floor space was renovated, and Olin Library has also engaged in a multi-year project of weeding out obsolete materials to better serve the evolving needs of the curriculum. The relationship between the library and Information Technology has deepened, and the Tutoring & Writing Center was brought into Olin and the library’s administration in 2013. In addition, sustained efforts have been made to enhance library users’ experiences with systematic assessment and data-driven decision making. In 2013, as a result of all these initiatives, Olin Library received the Excellence in the Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Besides his administrative responsibilities, Miller has taught a Rollins Conference Course titled The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: An Introduction to the History of Recorded Information, while his scholarship has focused primarily on open access, library management and copyright history. He is also active in the library profession nationwide, serving on various ACRL committees and the Oberlin Group Coordinating Committee, among others.