November 15, 2021 6:00pm — 7:00pm

A Discussion with Chicago's New Directors


Rhea Ballard-Thrower, University of Illinois Chicago
Chris Brown, Chicago Public Library
Estevan Montaño, Dominican University

Monday, November 15, 2021
6:00 to 700 pm

Listen to the webinar HERE

Join Rhea Ballard-Thrower, University of Illinois Chicago, Chris Brown, Commissioner, Chicago Public Library, and Estevan Montaño, Dominican University, and learn how these new leaders face the challenges of these current times and what t

hey envision for the future of their organizations.

The discussion will be led by Ellen Keith, Director of Research and Access and Chief Librarian at the Chicago History Museum and Board Chair of the Chicago Collections Consortium.

This program is co-sponsored by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and Chicago Collections Consortium.
About the Speakers:
Rhea Ballard-Thrower, Dean and University Librarian, University of Illinois Chicago
Rhea Ballard-Thrower recently started as the Dean and University Librarian at the University of Illinois Chicago. 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. Ballard-Thrower has been a legal bibliography instructor, conference presenter, and author of many articles on law librarianship. Her current research examines how to direct libraries as campus change agents. At UIC, Ballard-Thrower also holds an affiliate faculty position at UIC Law, where she teaches Advanced Legal Research using the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program pedagogy. In the program, she teaches law students and incarcerated students in the same classes at a correctional facility. Ballard-Thrower received her BA from the University of Cincinnati, her JD from the University of Kentucky, and her MILS from the University of Michigan.
Chris Brown, Chicago Public Library Commissioner
Chris Brown came to CPL in 2021 after more than a decade serving in Californian districts. Throughout his career, he has prioritized equity and the democratization of access to information, including nontraditional patrons and resources beyond traditional library materials. He is currently spearheading collaboration with neighborhood safety groups, City departments, and outside partners in order to establish safe spaces for youth. He has also initiated CPL’s first organized analysis of its processes with the goal of improving equity for patrons.
Such leadership has earned Brown national recognition. He was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2016 and has received the Urban Libraries Council Top Innovator Award, the California Library Association PRExcellence Award, and a John Cotton Dana Award from the American Library Association in both California and Illinois. Most recently, he served on the California Library Association Board.

Estevan Montaño, University Librarian, Rebecca Crown Library, Dominican University
Estevan Montaño was born and raised in New Mexico. Estevan earned his BA in Classical Studies and Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2005. He later completed his MLS in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. After his studies, he served as a librarian in public and academic libraries as well as a technology instructor for community organizations servicing underrepresented populations.

Moderator: Ellen Keith, Board Chair of the Chicago Collections Consortium and Director of Research and Access and Chief Librarian at the Chicago History Museum
Ellen Keith has been an active member of the Chicago Collections Consortium since returning to Chicago in 2012, when she served as co-chair of the Cooperative Reference Committee and as a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force. She received her BA in Victorian studies from Vassar College, as well as an MLIS from Dominican University and an MLA from Johns Hopkins University.