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UIC dean of libraries begins appointment as vice president/president-elect of Association of Research Libraries

Portrait of Rhea Ballard-Thrower on a neutral background. Rhea is wearing gold jewelry and a vivid blue blouse with orange flowers.

Posted on UIC Today
Jan. 26, 2024

UIC University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Rhea Ballard-Thrower began her one-year term as the Association of Research Libraries 2024 vice president/president-elect Jan. 1. The appointment took place during the ARL’s Fall Meeting in October 2023.

Ballard-Thrower becomes ARL president Jan. 1, 2025. Trevor A. Dawes, vice provost for libraries and museums and May Morris University Librarian at the University of Delaware, currently serves as ARL president.

“I am honored to be entrusted in the role of vice president for ARL as we lead the way for academic libraries’ social justice efforts with our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives (IDEAL) initiative and look forward to co-hosting our Sustainable Resistance and Restoration in Global Communities conference in July,” said Dean Ballard-Thrower. “The conference is an opportunity for colleagues in librarianship to connect with one another in person to create actionable plans to affect change around the world.”

The vice president serves on the ARL Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, along with the president, past president and treasurer.

At UIC, Dean Ballard-Thrower holds the rank of professor in the University Library and an affiliate faculty position at the UIC School of Law, where she teaches advanced legal research using the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program pedagogy. The program gives law students and incarcerated students the opportunity to take a course together at a correctional facility.

Ballard-Thrower holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Information and Library Studies from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

The Association of Research Libraries is a nonprofit organization of research libraries in Canada and the U.S. whose vision is to create a trusted, equitable and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepare library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide. ARL’s mission is to empower and advocate for research libraries and archives to shape, influence and implement institutional, national and international policy. ARL develops the next generation of leaders and enables strategic cooperation among partner institutions to benefit scholarship and society.

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