Washington, D.C. – April Hathcock, Director of Scholarly Communications and Information Policy at New York University Libraries, has been elected to the position of Chair of the SPARC Steering Committee. Hathcock has served as a member of the committee, which provides oversight and guidance to the SPARC organization, since her election by SPARC members in December 2021. Her term as chair will run from October 2022 to September 2025.
Hathcock brings extensive academic and legal experience to her new role. Before entering librarianship, Hathcock worked as an attorney at a global law firm with a specialty in intellectual property and antitrust law. She has a JD and LLM in international and comparative law from Duke University School of Law and an MLIS from the University of South Florida. At NYU, Hathcock has been active in educating the campus community on issues of ownership, access, and rights in the research life cycle. Her research interests include anti-racism and anti-oppression in librarianship and higher education, cultural creation and exchange, and the ways in which social and legal infrastructures benefit the works of certain groups over others.
Hathcock was named as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2018 and is the author of the article "White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS." She also authors the blog At the Intersection, which examines issues at the intersection of feminism, libraries, social justice, and the law.
"The SPARC Team is delighted to welcome April as our new chair," said Heather Joseph, SPARC's Executive Director. "She brings a welcome depth of experience on a range of critical issues facing our members to the table, as well as an approach that is both thoughtful and action-oriented – exactly the mix that our community needs."
"I'm thrilled to be working with the SPARC team in this new role and what better time than as they head into their 25th anniversary," Hathcock said. "SPARC is a tremendous organization that has truly aligned its work with its values in promoting equity, anti-oppression, and ethical openness in scholarship and education."
SPARC extends its deepest gratitude to the outgoing Chair, Virginia Steel, for her dedicated and invaluable service over the past 5 years.
The SPARC Steering Committee represents 240+ libraries in the US and Canada, and has affiliated organizations around the world, including SPARC Africa, SPARC Europe, and SPARC Japan. The full list of Steering Committee Members as well as information about SPARC's governance and membership is available on sparcopen.org.
SPARC is a non-profit advocacy organization that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design. As a catalyst for action, we drive policy change, support member action, and cultivate communities that advance our vision of knowledge as a public good. SPARC's membership includes more than 200 libraries and academic organizations across North America.