Rhea Ballard-Thrower

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Rhea Ballard-Thrower is the Executive Director of the Howard University Libraries in Washington, DC. Prior to her new position, Rhea was the Director of the Howard University Law Library.

Why did you join AALL?
Professor Virginia Wise, my legal bibliography teacher in library school, suggested that I join AALL. So, I became a member while working on my MILS.

Why do you stay a member?
I am a member of AALL, because it provides me with an opportunity to network with some of the best and brightest professionals. I was taught a good law librarian knows that legal research is a process where you build upon what other authoritative sources have already done. My AALL colleagues are one of those amazing authoritative sources.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
The academic law library directors’ listserv. I appreciate being able to post questions to the list and get responses from those who have already had a similar experience. The level of support we provide each other is amazing.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
Attending my first AALL meeting with my mentor, the late Professor Roy Mersky. As a brand new law librarian, attending your first AALL meeting can be a bit intimidating. But, he took me to meetings with him, introduced me to people, got me free lunches (oh, the stories about that), and showed me the importance of being an active member of AALL.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I like to quilt -- especially when I’m working on a project with fellow AALL member, Eileen Santos.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by Helene Cooper. Although, I must admit I have not read a book in a long time. I listen to audiobooks when I am driving the car.

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Greece. When your mother names you for a Greek goddess, you must vacation in Greece. I love the beach, but I hate cold water. Thus, I do not enjoy the beaches on the East Coast. The beaches in Greece have water that is bathtub warm. Oh my, if I could afford it, every summer you would find me in the warm waters of the Greek Isles.