SHARP in the Classroom Returns!

Welcome back to SHARP in the Classroom! I’m delighted to join the SHARP News Team as the new SHARP in the Classroom editor. I’ll begin with a brief introduction to me and my work, and then re-introduce this section and how you can submit resources and reflections on teaching the history of the book.

I have been a rare books librarian for the past 12 years, first as a Reference Librarian at the New-York Historical Society, working with its incredible Early American collection of books and manuscripts, and for the last 7 years as a faculty librarian at Indiana University’s Lilly Library. From my first position in New York, one of the core components of my work has been teaching with the collections I help steward, emphasizing the materiality of books and manuscripts. In both libraries, I have worked with diverse audiences from grade school children to undergraduate and graduate students to community groups. My initial position at the Lilly Library was almost entirely instruction related as the Education and Outreach (later Education) Librarian. In this position I coordinated the Lilly’s extensive instruction program from 2017 to 2023, which averages 150-250 class sessions and tours per year. As the current Head of Teaching and Research, I continue to oversee the instruction program at the Lilly, as well as how it intersects with the work of researchers in the Lilly’s Reading Room. In fall 2023 I started teaching “The Book to 1800,” a graduate survey course in IU’s Information and Library Science (ILS) department. My research focuses on women and book history, and most recently I’m working on female ownership markings in the Newton Surmaville family library, a multi-generational English “gentleman’s library” dispersed in 2007.

I am deeply committed to national conversations around both teaching with special collections and teaching the history of the book. I was a founding member of the Instruction and Outreach Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of ACRL in 2017 and co-chaired the committee from 2021-2023. I was also a founding member of the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Collective, an online hub that brings together resources, professional development, and support for those who teach with primary sources, including librarians, archivists, teachers, cultural heritage professionals, and anyone who has an interest in using primary sources in an educational setting. I was the first lead editor from 2019-2021 of the Notes from the Field section of the TPS Collective: a peer-reviewed series of articles exploring the theory and practice of teaching with primary sources. Stepping into the role as the SHARP in the Classroom Editor seems like a natural progression. 

So now that I’ve introduced myself, let me re-introduce the series. SHARP in the Classroom launched in 2021 as a space to share resources, tools, and reflections on book history pedagogy. Submissions can be short and sweet (up to 1000 words) and more on the informal end of the writing spectrum. I see this section as a space of professional generosity, as my experience with others teaching in book history is one of incredible excitement and enthusiasm to share both practical tools and reflective thoughts with others. Our goal, as outgoing editor Rebecca Baumann stated in their welcome letter, is “to provide a space to share materials in a way that is low-effort for you but high-impact for the field.” 

We welcome syllabi, assignments, in-class exercises, reflections, and anything else you’d like to share. We want to encourage variety both in types of submissions and voices and perspectives represented. We’re organizing types of submissions into three broad categories:

  • Pedagogical Tools: This section focuses on the structural support for organizing and evaluating book history classes, whether as part of a semester-length course, as brief units embedded in other courses, or as solo sessions taught by librarians. Syllabi, assignments, and exercises for all ranges of classes and units are welcome. (200 words for introductory text)
  • Reflections on Pedagogy: A space for thinking about our pedagogical practices and experiences. We’d love to see submissions for this section on a variety of topics, but especially intersections of identity and book history, accessibility in the book history classroom, and racial justice. (1000-2000 words)
  • Student Voices: We would love to see student work and reflections from students about their class experiences. (1000-2000 words)

SHARP in the Classroom is published biannually in August and January and maintains an open call for submissions all year. Email submissions to

Not sure where your idea or reflection might fit, or want to talk about how to develop your thoughts? Feel free to email and consult with me!

I’m looking forward to hearing about and learning from your experiences and insights!