SPARC is organized to ensure agility and provide a level of participatory governance that will not impair its responsiveness to a fast-changing marketplace. SPARC staff and leadership maintain channels of direct communication with members through informal but efficient means. Members and affiliates are kept informed on a timely basis of important issues and developments, as well as direction and progress, and have the opportunity to provide feedback.
The SPARC Enterprise
SPARC was developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 1997-98. The SPARC Executive Director, Heather Joseph, is empowered to initiate and negotiate SPARC partnerships and to implement the coalition’s plans and programs. She seeks counsel from the SPARC Steering Committee as well as individual SPARC members and ARL’s senior staff.
The SPARC Steering Committee’s main function is to provide programmatic decision-making support for the executive director. The advisory body currently has ten voting members, elected by SPARC members for three-year terms. Non-voting members are appointed for one-year terms. These currently include a Canadian Association of Research Libraries representative, an Association of Research Libraries representative, an Early Career Researcher, and two seats for Community College representatives. The elected Steering Committee broadly represents all SPARC member institutions, with a proportion of seats filled by both ARL directors and the directors of libraries outside of ARL. The Steering Committee nomination process ensures that the Steering Committee maintains a broad and balanced perspective.
The Steering Committee meets twice per year during industry conferences, or otherwise conducts its business by telephone and e-mail contact. View the current Steering Committee roster.
Each (A) Full Member (individually) and (B) Consortium (collectively on behalf of all of its participants) has one vote for Steering Committee candidates. Other categories of members — (C) Supporting Member, (D) International Supporting Member, and (E) Affiliate — are non-voting. However, all members regardless of category are kept fully informed on important issues, policies, plans and progress and have ample opportunity to voice their questions or opinions and to volunteer their participation.