Mark Sweeney, chief of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at the Library of Congress, has been named director of Preservation, succeeding Dianne van der Reyden, who will retire at the end of March. Sweeney begins work in his new position on April 2, 2012.
Roberta I. Shaffer, associate librarian for Library Services, said Sweeney’s appointment “represents the next generation of Library of Congress leadership. These are staff members who have had a variety of roles within the institution and know the Library’s infrastructure and culture well. At the same time, they have overseen major outward-facing programs that impact access to information broadly and widely.”
Sweeney began his career at the Library of Congress on Jan. 22, 1987 as a deck attendant in the Serial and Government Publications Division. He then held a series of progressively more responsible positions in the division, including unit supervisor, reference librarian and reference specialist, eventually serving as head of the Newspaper Section.
In July 2002, Sweeney began coordinating the Library’s work with the United States Newspaper Program, a cooperative national effort to locate, catalog and preserve microfilmed newspapers published in the United States from the 18th century to the present. He serves as a consultant for the National Digital Newspaper Program, a cooperative initiative with the National Endowment for the Humanities that provides access to newspapers through the application of digital technology. Both efforts have been successful in preserving and promoting access to Library of Congress collections as well as the collections of other institutions. These programs serve as models of national cooperation for the preservation of newspapers.
Sweeney was selected chief of the Library’s Preservation Reformatting Division in April 2003 and served in that position until his return to the Collections and Services Directorate as chief of the Serial and Government Publications Division in February 2007. He was appointed chief of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division in September 2011.
A member of the 1990-1991 Library of Congress Intern Program, Sweeney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a master’s degree in library science from Catholic University.