Association of College & Research Libraries conference draws record-breaking attendance in Minneapolis

Contact: Larra Clark

ACRL Media Relations


For Immediate Release

April 11, 2005

Association of College & Research Libraries conference draws record-breaking attendance in Minneapolis

(MINNEAPOLIS) Close to 4,000 attendees from every state and 15 countries joined the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) at its 12th National Conference in Minneapolis, April 7 to 10. About 3,490 people attended the 2003 ACRL conference in Charlotte.

Records also were set for the most first-time attendees (1,059) and the most conference scholarship recipients (94). The University of Minnesota alone registered more than 100 library staff members. Many more people logged onto the first-ever ACRL Virtual National Conference, which included live Webcasts of several programs, as well as discussion boards, blogs, speaker materials and more. All conference registrants have unlimited access to the online conference community for one year after the event.

"I'm proud we were able to provide so many scholarships to attend the conference and to welcome new and diverse professionals to the field," said ACRL President Frances Maloy. "There really was so much energy and enthusiasm throughout the conference."

Programs touched on a broad range of issues and topics affecting college and university campuses nationwide, including:

* Open access to research: ACRL has been a leading advocate for open access to federally funded research as part of its overall approach to improving scholarly communications. The federal government spent close to $50 billion on non-defense-related R&D in 2002.

* First-year experience: For generations, the first year of higher education has constituted a challenge - both for students and for the campuses they attend. Academic libraries are helping students obtain the information and research skills they will need to be successful in class and in the workplace.

* New technologies: With online materials and use growing, college and university library leaders have responded to technology-savvy students and faculty with increased virtual services that make library resources available around the clock.

"Our profession is at a tipping point with technology and connectivity for our users. Librarians create a learning environment outside the classroom, we enhance the teaching and learning experience in the classroom, we create enhanced information databases and powerful search tools that make possible new research, we collaborate on research, and we promote and demonstrate the value of the academic enterprise," Maloy said.

It is still possible to register for the Virtual National Conference, view archives of the Webcasts and join the online community. To learn more and/or register, go to, and then click on "virtual conference." To view the conference blog, go to

Audio CD/cassettes and a copy of the Conference Proceedings also are available for sale. For audio, call 888-222-1614 or visit For proceedings, visit ACRL's online bookstore at

The next ACRL National Conference will be held in Baltimore, March 29 to April 1, 2007.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA). ACRL's nearly 13,000 members are comprised of individuals from a wide range of academic institutions, publishers and vendors who sell in the academic marketplace. The core purpose of ACRL is to lead academic and research librarians and libraries in advanced learning and scholarship. There are more than 3,500 academic libraries in the United States.

To learn more about ACRL initiatives and projects, please visit To schedule interviews with librarian spokespeople, please call Larra Clark at 312-280-5043.