Susan M. Bryan has been an educator for over thirty-five years. Her experiences include classroom teaching at the elementary level, multiple school assignments as an elementary library teacher, and a high school library teacher. During these years, Bryan also worked part-time as a Bibliographic Instructor and Reference Librarian at two campuses of the Community College of Rhode Island and was an instructor in the library media program at Bridgewater State College. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island, a Master's from Simmons College GSLIS, and a C.A.G.S. in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Instructional Technology from Rhode Island College.
As a lifetime member of both the American Library Association (ALA) and its school division the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), she served as Region I Delegate to (AASL) for a span of eight years. She attended many ALA annual and midwinter conferences as well as several AASL conferences. This experience was during a change in the AASL governing board policies and while the second edition of Information Power was drafted. Bryan learned about being a change agent and a program advocate. She presented at several local workshops teaching school librarians about the new professional guidelines and roles as defined in Information Power. She recognizes how valuable these experiences were for her own professional development. For several years she also served as the school representative to the Governor's Library Board of Rhode Island and served as conference chair and president of the Rhode Island Educational Media Association (RIEMA) now known as the School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLORI). In 1996, RIEMA awarded her the Linda Aldrich Leadership Award.
For fifteen years of her public school career, Bryan served simultaneously as the Director of School Library Media Services and as an Elementary School Principal for the Cranston (RI) Public Schools. During this dual tenure, all schools in the district were fully automated and the school library teachers were in the forefront of learning to align their lessons to the Standards. In this dual position, Bryan was able to advocate among her principal colleagues for the library teachers' instructional impact on student achievement while teaching the library teachers about how to establish, strengthen, and maintain collaborative teaching partnerships with teachers.