SPARC Steering Committee Election Candidates: ARL Institutions

Please review the four ARL candidates below and use the form at the bottom to cast your vote for two of the candidates.

Chris Bourg
Director of Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chris Bourg is the Director of Libraries at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she also has oversight of the MIT Press. She is also the founding director of the Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS). Prior to assuming her role at MIT, Chris worked for 12 years in the Stanford University Libraries, most recently as the Associate University Librarian for Public Services. Before Stanford, she spent 10 years as an active duty U.S. Army officer, including three years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She received her BA from Duke University, her MA from the University of Maryland, and her MA and PhD in sociology from Stanford.

Chris has extensive experience promoting equitable and open scholarship, and is an advocate for the role of libraries in promoting social justice and democracy. She is a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, and recently served as co-chair of the MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research. At MIT, Chris led efforts to produce the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, a principles based approach endorsed by over 100 institutions and aimed at ensuring research outputs are openly and equitably available. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of SocArXiv, an open access platform for social science research; and a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers Committee to Visit the University Library. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and is past chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion of the Association of Research Libraries. In 2016, Chris co-chaired the MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of Libraries, which produced a bold vision for research libraries in a computational age.

Beth McNeil
Dean of Libraries, Purdue University

Beth McNeil joined Purdue University as Dean of Libraries and School of Information Science and Esther Ellis Professor in 2019.  Prior to joining Purdue, she was Dean of Library Services at Iowa State University (2015-2019), held associate dean positions in the libraries at Purdue University (2007-2015) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1996-2007), and began her professional career as an assistant professor and reference librarian (1989-1996) at Bradley University in Peoria, IL.McNeil is conference chair for ACRL 2021, “Ascending into an Open Future.”  She has served as chair of the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and is a past board member of HathiTrust, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST), the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance, and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).  She is the author of Fundamentals of Library Supervision (2017, 2010, and 2005) and Core Competencies (2002), and co-author of Advocacy, Outreach and the Nations Libraries: A Call for Action (2010) and Patron Behavior in Libraries: A Handbook of Positive Approaches to Negative Situations (1996), and several journal articles on library management, supervision, and human resources-related topics.

Carmelita Pickett
Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources & Content Strategy, University of Virginia

Carmelita Pickett was appointed AUL for scholarly resources and content strategy at University of Virginia beginning in July 2018. She has held previous academic library appointments at The University of Iowa, Emory University, Texas A&M University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MLS from North Carolina Central University. In 2016, she was selected as a Senior Fellow in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Tyler Walters
Dean of University Libraries, Virginia Tech

Tyler Walters is Dean, University Libraries and Professor at Virginia Tech since 2011 where he is responsible for a diverse set of data and information services. During his tenure, Walters has promoted equity and Open Access in a variety of ways, including founding Virginia Tech Publishing, establishing the Faculty Open Education Initiative grant program, locally launching OSF for Institutions, building a 10-person Data Services team, and creating an open data repository. Walters and his library team have been instrumental in drafting a university-wide Open Access policy for Virginia Tech’s university governance system for review this year. In 2014-15, Walters co-founded the ACRL Diversity Alliance with his counterparts from the University of Iowa, American University, and West Virginia University. The ACRL Diversity Alliance brings together academic libraries committed to increasing the hiring pipeline of qualified and talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Walters has participated in and/or led many multi-institutional organizations and initiatives that center on Open Access and challenges in scholarly communication. Currently, he is a member of the AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group that produced a report and recommendations to U.S. Federal agencies and research universities on public access to research data (November 2017). He serves on the Board of LYRASIS, which has merged with DuraSpace in 2019 to form an international nonprofit organization that provides services to galleries, libraries, archives, and museum communities and supports open source software communities that provide long-term sustainability and discovery of digital research and scholarship. Walters served as the Board President of DuraSpace, 2017-19, and as a board member since 2013.

Previously, Walters was involved in such catalytic activities as co-founding the Educopia Institute, for which he was a Board member from 2007 to 2017. At the ground-breaking National Academy of Sciences’ 2017 public symposium, “Toward an Open Science Enterprise: Focus on Stakeholders” Walters presented, “The Open Science ‘Stack’: Infrastructure, Scientific Objects, and Policy.” During 2015-16, he served as the director of SHARE – the Shared Access Research Ecosystem initiative, a joint undertaking of ARL and the Center for Open Science (COS) and funded by the IMLS and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Today, the SHARE open API and aggregator are technologies powering COS’ OSF Preprints service, which holds records to over 2.2 million open items. In 2015, Walters helped launch the AAU/ARL/AUPresses TOME program – Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem, aimed at changing the business model to produce Open Access scholarly monographs in the humanities. Virginia Tech supports the program by hosting the ARL visiting program officer for TOME.

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