SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA: Focusing on the Berlin Open Access Declaration

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For immediate release
May 3, 2011

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

Kara Malenfant
(312) 280-2510
kmalenfant [at] ala [dot] org

Washington, DC and Chicago, IL – The upcoming SPARC-ACRL forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication, to be held at the American Library Association (ALA) meeting in New Orleans, LA, will focus on expanding support for the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The Declaration, issued in 2003, outlines concrete steps to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, including encouraging researchers and cultural heritage custodians to make materials openly available.

The goals of the declaration are advanced in part by an annual conference of international leaders. In 2011, this meeting will take place in North America for the first time, offering a unique opportunity for the library community to continue its leadership role in advancing Open Access. The Berlin Declaration has garnered signatures from nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world – including the leaders of organizations ranging from the Max Plank Society to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Academia Europaea. Most recently, both Harvard University and the International Federation of Library Associations added their names to the roster.

The next SPARC-ACRL forum will explore the motivations behind the Berlin Declaration and its impact on the global research community. It will also present the opportunity for North American libraries to encourage their institutions to sign onto the document and become engaged in further advancing Open Access by promoting the statement’s call to action.

The forum will be held Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Morial Convention Center, Room 383. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group, which offers a more intimate setting to explore topics in greater depth, will explore how we can bring a global action like the Berlin Open Access Declaration to our own institutions through our education and outreach programs.  The Discussion Group will be held Sunday, June 26, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the New Orleans Marriott, Studio 7.

Separate registration for this event is not required. For further details on the forum, visit

For details on the Berlin Declaration, visit

For details on the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, visit



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


The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. It 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. ACRL is on the Web at