Patricia Renfro Elected to SPARC Steering Committee

(NEW YORK, January 13, 2009) Patricia Renfro, Deputy University Librarian and Associate Vice President for Digital Programs and Technology Services at Columbia University, was elected to the Steering Committee of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) this month. She will serve a three-year term beginning February 2009.


SPARC, with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create more open systems of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research.

"Columbia has been a member of SPARC since its beginnings and has benefited greatly from its effective innovation and advocacy. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Steering Committee at such an interesting and critical time for scholarly publishing and the Open Access movement," said Renfro.

The SPARC Steering Committee’s main function is to provide rapid programmatic decision-making support for the executive director. The committee maintains a close working relationship with the senior staff and Board of Directors of ARL.

Renfro joined Columbia University Libraries/Information Services in April 2000. Previously, she was Associate Director of Libraries and Director, Public Services at the University of Pennsylvania.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.

01/13/09 LMK