Skip to content

California Rare Book School Speaker Series Launched with Talk by Robert D. Montoya

By Joanie Harmon
Robert D. Montoya, UCLA assistant professor of information studies and director of the California Rare Book School

Robert D. Montoya, UCLA assistant professor of information studies and director of the California Rare Book School, will launch the CalRBS Speaker Series with his virtual talk on “Global Justice and an Ethical Imperative: CalRBS at a Social Crossroad,” on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 5:30 p.m., PST.

Professor Montoya, who this year assumed leadership of CalRBS, will examine the role of a continuing education program such as CalRBS and the ways it could situate itself as a proponent of positive social change, authentic democratic activity, and global justice, in the face of diminished funding to libraries and rare book repositories, reduction of services, and the resulting declines in voter participation, literacy levels, and an understanding of science and knowledge output.

“The result of this is an uninformed and passive citizenry, a decline in public and individual health, and the degradation of our ecological surroundings,” he notes. “As the social and political circumstances of our daily lives continue to shift radically from day-to-day—manifesting in conflict, ideological polarization, climate catastrophe, and widening income inequality, to name a few—our public memory institutions find themselves in impossible roles: they not only must preserve the documentary outputs of our society and make them available for use, but they must also augment the failing social infrastructures that should otherwise provide adequate food, education, shelter, and epistemic empowerment.”

Professor Montoya is also the director of the Library, Ethics, and Justice Lab. His research focuses on information representation and positionality, critical, ethical, and justice-oriented LIS work, public libraries, and international library development. He received his PhD from the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, his MLIS with a specialization in rare books, print and visual culture from UCLA, and his MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles.

Register for this event here

More information on the series can be found on the CalRBS website.

Other upcoming lectures in the speaker series include:

“Global Book History and the Library,”
by Devin Fitzgerald, Curator of Rare Books and History of Printing, UCLA Library Special Collections.
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m., PST

“Prison libraries, indigenous typography, and experimental publishing: reflections on #RadPubCDMX,”
by T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collection Development, UCLA.
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m., PST