SPARC is pleased to welcome Caitlin Carter to our team as a visiting program officer. Carter, Scholarly Communication and Open Access Policy Fellow at The Johns Hopkins University Welch Medical Library Baltimore, Maryland, will spend about a quarter of her time in the newly established role.
“It is an honor for Caitlin and the Johns Hopkins Libraries to be an active participant in SPARC’s important agenda,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Johns Hopkins University. “We are excited by the benefits that her appointment will enable for the academic library community at large, and also at Hopkins as we shape our library collections and services in a rapidly changing environment.”
Carter will work with SPARC members and Director of Programs & Engagement Nick Shockey and Senior Consultant Greg Tannebaum to create materials to help libraries with Big Deal negotiation strategies and lay the groundwork to establish a negotiation community of practice.
“What interested me about the VPO position is the opportunity to work alongside SPARC to develop resources for librarians. I also look forward to learning from the library and academic community about their unique experiences negotiating journal subscriptions,” Carter said. “Community engagement and consistent attention to this conversation is one step in developing strategies that empower libraries during their negotiations. I’m excited to continue the conversation already ongoing.”
In her VPO position, Carter will focus on supporting the SPARC membership as libraries re-evaluate their negotiating position in light of the growing momentum behind Open Access. She will lead the creation of a negotiation community of practice within SPARC to facilitate knowledge sharing among member libraries. There is a growing need as many rethink desired outcomes for negotiations, strategies for getting there, and how to reinvest in open, community-aligned infrastructure.
Complementing this work, Carter will also help to conduct a survey of libraries that have cancelled Big Deals to identify key point people involved, ramifications, alternative content fulfillment experience, net savings, and faculty reaction. Based on feedback from the community, Carter will look for opportunities to build on SPARC’s current suite of resources in this area. This includes SPARC’s Big Deal Tracker and newly released Big Deal Knowledge Database that make it easy for libraries to see who has cancelled bundles and how much libraries are paying for subscriptions.
“We are thrilled that Caitlin’s experience and talents have been recognized in this way, and are proud to have her sharing her expertise and passion with SPARC’s membership,” said Anne Seymour, Director, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University. “As evidenced by her advocacy across Johns Hopkins, Caitlin will certainly be an asset as SPARC develops subscription negotiation resources.”
Carter’s appointment began in late August and will continue for one year. It is possible thanks to the support of Johns Hopkins University Libraries. SPARC launched the VPO program this year to provide opportunities for staff in SPARC member libraries to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, to advance the open agenda. The program provides highly visible professional development opportunities for outstanding staff members and serves the SPARC membership extending SPARC’s capacity to undertake additional activities.