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University Librarian and Dean of University Libraries

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Rhea Ballard-Thrower was appointed University Librarian and Dean of the University Libraries in 2021. She currently serves as the Vice-President/President-Elect for the American Research Libraries.

At UIC, Dean Ballard-Thrower also holds an affiliate faculty position at UIC Law, where she teaches advanced legal research at the Cook County Jail using the Inside/Out Prison Exchange pedagogy.

Prior to her appointment at UIC, Dean Ballard-Thrower was Executive Director of the Howard University Libraries and a tenured professor at the Howard University School of Law. She has also served as Director of the Howard University Law Library, Associate Director at the Georgia State University Law Library, and as a reference librarian for the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas-Austin.

Dean Ballard-Thrower has been a legal bibliography instructor, conference presenter, and author of many articles on law librarianship. Her most recent article, “Teaching Advanced Legal Research: Using the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Pedagogy,”(co-written with Dr. Amy Lopez), was selected for the 2023 American Library Association’s Instruction Round Table Top 20 instruction articles.

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