SPARC-ACRL Forum to focus on student engagement

Contact: Jennifer McLennan


202-296-2296, ext.121

Kara Malenfant



For Immediate Release,

December 4, 2007

SPARC-ACRL Forum to focus on student engagement

CHICAGO - The 16th SPARC-ACRL Forum, "Working with the Facebook Generation: Engaging Student Views on Access to Scholarship," will be held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 12. Co-sponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries), the
semiannual forum focuses on emerging issues in scholarly communication.

Appreciating, if not understanding, student perspectives on information sharing and access to research will advance library outreach programs. Librarians and students have the power to build valuable bridges of collaboration and guide the larger academic community to reshape scholarly communication.

Tech-savvy students, who live and breathe information sharing, are critical to changing the way scholarly communication is conducted. Not bound by traditional modes of research exchange, students are using all the technologies at their disposal to engage in scholarly discourse - including blogs, wikis and tagging tools. What will they do next? How do they view the future of scholarly exchange?

At the next SPARC-ACRL Forum, graduate students from an array of disciplines, institutions and engaged perspectives will share their approaches to scholarly communication issues. Joined by librarians whose scholarly communication programs have explicit student-focused components, they will explore the importance of outreach and the potential impact of students as current and future key stakeholders. The forum will also showcase the winners of the first Sparky Award for the best short videos on the value of information sharing.

The SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held:

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008

4:00 - 6:00PM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, room 204 A/B

The event will be also available via SPARC Podcast at a later date.

Speakers include:

  • Andre Brown, PhD student in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania and co-blogger for Biocurious
  • Kimberly Douglas, University Librarian, California Institute of Technology
  • Nelson Pavlosky, Law student at George Mason University and co-founder of Students for Freeculture
  • Stephanie Wang, graduate student in Economics at Princeton University and former National Coordinating Committee member, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

The forum is followed by the ACRL Scholarly Communication Discussion Group, where there will be an open discussion of key issues that surface at the forum. The Discussion Group will be held Sunday, Jan. 13, from 4:00 - 6:00PM at the Marriott Philadelphia, room Franklin 11.

For more information, visit the SPARC Web site at

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC's advocacy, educational and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research. SPARC is on the Web at

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 13,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.