The “Hidden” Incentives of Teaching with Special Collections

By Michael Taylor / Several years ago, I began educating myself about stocks and investing. The guidebooks advised me to consider not only a stock’s valuation, but also its record of paying a strong dividend—money that shareholders get simply for owning a stock, even during economic downturns. Dividends accrue and, in time, make up a significant portion of overall returns. Remembering to take them into account is crucial to evaluating one’s success as an investor.

In Praise of a Community-centered Approach in the Garden and the Archives

By Leah Richardson / Gardening is a labor of love, but labor nonetheless. There is a seemingly endless amount of tending and care that goes into making something grow, and there is not a guarantee that this work will result in something beautiful or nourishing. I find gardening metaphors useful when thinking about most activities, especially librarianship. This is an essay about building a special collections instruction program within a larger research library and how I think about this in much the same way I think about gardening: as a collective, cultural, and experimental activity.

Teaching as Practice

By Maureen E. Maryanski /
Only recently have I begun to think about my work as the Education and Outreach Librarian at the Lilly Library as a teaching practice. Teaching with special collections has been an integral part of my career trajectory and identity since I became a professional librarian seven years ago. At that point, I could not have predicted that this would be the case. My intertwining investments in the classes, instructors, and students that I work with and my own development as a teacher have continued to grow since then. As I look back, examining the sequence of events and interactions that have brought me where I am, that phrase teaching practice continues to bubble to the surface. It encapsulates the approach and attitude I seek to bring into every classroom.