Resources for Libraries
Libraries of all types and sizes are SPARC's key constituents and, along with library organizations, represent 100% of our membership. Shaped by libraries in 1997, SPARC's primary aim is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that:
The opportunities for wider access to scholarly research don't only impact large, research libraries. Public libraries, state libraries, and smaller academic libraries at community colleges have the chance to expand their collections exponentially when content is openly available or affordable for them. Some small college libraries can't afford subscriptions to any journals in a discipline like chemistry, even though there are faculty and students who need them.
The international move toward open, public access to research funded by taxpayer dollars (more than $55 billion in the U.S. alone) especially has the potential to reshape the scope and services of smaller academic and public libraries.
Two recent articles point to common interests among research, academic, community college, and public libraries:
The Next Big Library Legislative Issue [PDF]
A View toward the Public Side of Scholarly Communication [PDF]
Abstract: Academic libraries often serve the same “public” as public libraries, and one might expect the public good benefits of public access to research results to make the two groups closer allies than they seem to be on scholarly communication issues. Additional key motivations to take action may be missing for public libraries, but there is untapped potential to share and collaborate on scholarly communication issues, starting with public access to publicly-funded research results.
What can you do? Get involved. There are many ways, in addition to SPARC membership, to support a more open system for access to research. Join SPARC's email network to learn of opportunities to take action. Hold a workshop explaining what open access is and why it matters--here's one librarian's outline for such an event. And join the Alliance for Taxpayer Access to support legislative moves in the U.S. to mandate public access to publicly funded research. Membership in the Alliance is free.