Michelle L  Harper

Michelle L Harper

Bringing Digital Products to Life through Product Management

Work experience

Work experience
Feb 2013 - Present

Sr Product Marketing Manager

McGraw-Hill Education
  • Serve as the voice of the customer and develop messaging and positioning for multiple products and services across McGraw-Hill School Education, including Custom Solutions, Professional Development. ConnectEd, and other digital platforms.
  • Employ market research, customer segmentation, Voice of the Customer, product portfolio management, competitive positioning, market assessment, pricing, and create market research requirements to guide launch and support of two new services in 2014, including launching Create, a digital publishing tool, to the K-12 market.
Jul 2010 - Present

Adjunct Professor, Humanities

Columbus State Community College
    • Courses taught include Humanities 111, Humanities 112, European History to 1648, European History since 1648 and American History to 1877.
    • Other experience includes 4 years of teaching at the University of Michigan (Great Books Program, English composition and British History).
May 2011 - Dec 2012

Sr. Director of Product Management


Strategic positioning of hi tech digital products within marketplace, including academic, public library and K12.

  • Led NewsBank’s Historical Newspapers and Periodicals portfolio of products
  • Facilitated and coordinated cross-functional teams from all relevant departments and locations to support product strategy, including Rights and Permissions, Operations, Editorial, Marketing, and Customer Service
  • Worked closely with vice president of product development throughout product lifecycle process and to design and launch new products including Series 8 and 9 of Historical Newspapers, The Washington Star and Afro Americana Imprints (Library Company of Philadelphia).
  • Provided sales support and strategic positioning for publisher archives for both the academic and public library sales teams (large single title sales of historical newspapers)
  • Led multiple acclaimed webinars on digitization, histories of newspapers, regional historic newspaper content, key historical newspapers, and the academic and public library uses of newspaper content for libraries.
  • Frequent speaker and panelist at company events, trade shows, and scholarly conferences.
Feb 2008 - Aug 2010

Director of Special Collections


OCLC (Online Computer Learning Center) ... Dublin, Ohio (February 2008 to Present)

World's largest, non-profit, cooperative of libraries (72,000 libraries in 86 countries); facilitates library cooperation in cataloging, inter-library loan, virtual reference, digital archiving, and other services; hosts world's largest union catalog of library bibliographic data (WorldCat); generates approximately $240.5 million annually.

Director, Special Collections (April 2009 to present)

Increase discovery of special collections within WorldCat); led development of digital data strategy and acquisition for open archives and special collections.

  • Led successful integration of OAIster, the world's largest aggregation of records pointing to open-archive collections with more than 25 million records contributed by over 1,180 organizations worldwide.
  • Coordinated collection acquisition plan for ArchiveGrid, a database of collection level descriptions and finding aids from archives around the world; and expanded the aggregation to over 1 million records, increasing finding aids by 13% to over 92,000.

Director of Product Management, OCLC NetLibrary (Boulder, CO) (Feb 2008-April 2009).  NetLibrary provides access to ebooks to greatest number of academic libraries worldwide and is the single largest provider of frontlist content to academic library market, offering titles in more than 20 languages.

  • Hired for and managed product management team and held P & L responsibility of $18 million, which also supported a licensed content portfolio of over $30 million.
  • Led the development of NetLibrary Media Center, desktop application enabling public library clients to search, manage, transfer and listen to downloadable eAudiobooks on portable devices; 6-month concept-release initiative recognized as amongst first in marketplace combining Media Center and iPod functionality.
  • Enhanced public perception of NetLibrary through representation and participation on industry panels, conferences, podcasts and publications; included development of advisory board ensuring organization operated with customer-focus and commitment.
2001 - 2006



ProQuest … Ann Arbor, Michigan (2001 to 2006)

Creates specialized information resources and technologies enabling research, discovery, and lifelong learning in libraries of all types worldwide; annual revenues exceed $250 million.

Oversaw publishing functions for Historical Newspapers Program within Product Management; accountable for P&L performance of Historical Newspapers, Current Newspapers, and Gerritsen, Sanborn Maps and National Security Archive.

·Led product lines to double-digit growth over 5 years through continuous improvement and enhancements.

 ·Conducted market research through focus groups, interviews and surveys to develop and write business plans for cross-market products, including ProQuest Obituaries (launched 2006), Black Newspapers (2007) and ProQuest Civil War Era (2007).

2000 - 2001


Gale Cengage

Providededitorial management, support and expertise for large scale publishing projects under budget and on time: Gale Directory of Learning Worldwide:  A Guide to Faculty and Institutions of Higher Education, Research, and Culture (2000), MacMillan Science Library (Biology) (2001)--named one of Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin's 20 Best Bets for Student Researchers 2002. 

  • Contracted with and managed over 500 academic and professional authors to serve as advisers and contributors.
  • Coordinated efforts with tech teams to develop new processes for converting outside data from vendors into internal editorial processing systems.
  • Coordinated with imaging/multimedia and permissions departments to standardize artwork and resolve copyright issues; collaborated with design department to produce page specifications; attended sales meetings to determine customer focus.