For immediate release | May 1, 2012

ALA and LCA award Eric Harbeson the Oakley Memorial Scholarship Award

Washington, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) and the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) have selected Eric Harbeson, music special collections librarian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as the first recipient of the Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship Award, an award that bestows honorees with $1000 to offset the costs associated with attending the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) Conference this August in Helsinki, Finland.

The Oakley scholarship award will be presented to Mr. Harbeson at the ALA’s 2012 annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. in June. Harbeson will present a paper at the conference on copyright and other legal issues surrounding institutionally-produced sound recordings.

The award was established to support research and advance study for librarians in their early-to-mid careers who are interested and/or active in the fields that Robert Oakley was expert in — intellectual property, public policy, copyright and their impacts on libraries and the ways libraries serve their communities. The intent of the scholarship is to support librarians who will be strong advocates for balanced copyright in the years to come and to provide development opportunities related to copyright and related issues that they might not otherwise have.

Award recipients are expected to bring their interest and energy back to library associations, by mentoring new librarians in information policy, sharing expertise and actively engaging in public policy and library advocacy.

"I had the pleasure of working with Eric during the Copyright Office's roundtable discussions of pre-1972 sound recordings, where he showed extraordinary tenacity,” said Brandon Butler, director of public policy initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries. “Eric wasn't intimidated by the team of high-powered lobbyists from the content industry and he was perhaps the only participant who joined every single session to represent his community."

“We are delighted to name Eric Harbeson as this year’s scholarship winner,” said Carrie Russell, director of the ALA’s Program on Public Access to Information. “Mr. Harbeson’s keen interest in copyright coupled with his research tenacity make him a worthy recipient.”

Harbeson’s research focuses on copyright and other legal issues concerning institutionally produced sound recordings, such as recordings of student recitals, school-sponsored performing ensembles and theater programs. His research will examine both legal theories and the practical application of such theories at research libraries that wish to preserve and provide access to these myriad collections.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been picked for this scholarship. I'm very grateful both to the ALA and LCA for choosing me, and honored to win a prize named after someone who clearly gave so much to new librarians,” said Harbeson.

To learn more about the scholarship award, go to

About the Library Copyright Alliance

The Library Copyright Alliance consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. These three associations collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the United States and Canada.


About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world,with approximately 60,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.



Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

American Library Association

Washington Office (WASH)

800-545-2433 8208