SPARC is pleased to welcome Michele Gibney as a Visiting Program Officer for Privacy & Surveillance. Michele is the Head of Publishing and Scholarship Support at University of the Pacific in California, where she manages the institutional repository, Scholarly Commons, and will spend about a quarter of her time in the newly established role.
“The University Libraries at Pacific are concerned about the increasing surveillance threats built into library vendor platforms and the impact on faculty and student researcher confidence in the library environment,” says Niraj Chaudhary, Associate Dean, University Libraries at University of the Pacific. “We are thrilled that Michele will be taking part in studying and supporting work in this field on behalf of Pacific, SPARC, and libraries worldwide.”
Michele will be working to educate SPARC members about emerging privacy threats facing libraries and to cultivate a community of practice to support members in developing strategies to mitigate these threats.
“My interest in privacy and surveillance in academia arose out of concerns about ethics and equity in the scholarly communication ecosystem. I’m enthusiastically looking forward to my visiting role with SPARC to encourage conversations, community building and resource sharing on the topic across libraries,” Michele says.
In this VPO position, Michele will create programs and resources to help SPARC members address emerging concerns about privacy and surveillance and support the intersection of this work with SPARC’s Negotiation Community of Practice.
“We are very fortunate to be able to call on Michele’s unique perspective and extensive experience as we continue to build out our programmatic work in the data privacy and surveillance space,” says Heather Joseph, SPARC’s Executive Director. “We’re grateful to the University of the Pacific for their generous support of this position – it’s wonderful to be able to partner with our members like this to be able to advance our community’s critical objectives.”
Michele’s one-year appointment is possible thanks to the support of the University of the Pacific Library. SPARC launched the VPO program in 2019 to provide opportunities for libraries in the SPARC community 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.