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SPARC and ACRL Announce Denver OER Forum

For immediate release
December 15, 2008

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2996 ext. 121

Kara Malenfant
(312) 280-2510

SPARC and ACRL Announce Slate for Denver Forum
on Open Educational Resources

Washington, DC & Chicago, IL -- December 15, 2008 -- Four 
pioneers from the Open Educational Resources community will offer 
their insights into "The transformative potential of Open 
Educational Resources (OER)" at the next SPARC-ACRL Forum, to be 
held during the 2009 American Library Association Midwinter 
Meeting in Denver, CO.

The forum, hosted by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic 
Resources Coalition) and the Association of College and Research 
Libraries (ACRL), will introduce OER and the philosophy behind 
them to the wider library community, highlight examples of how 
different constituencies are currently advancing OER on campuses, 
and offer suggestions for how libraries can further engage to 
support OER.

OER are a logical extension of what the library community 
supports in the Open Access movement, and underscore the need for 
the larger playing field on which scholarly communication takes 
place to be made more equitable. OER focus not only on journals, 
but also on full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, 
streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials 
or techniques that are critical in the learning environment.

Forum presenters will include:

-- Richard Baraniuk, an architect of the Cape Town Open Education 
Declaration which aims to accelerate efforts to promote open 
resources, technology and teaching practices in education 
(http://www.capetowndeclaration.org); founder of Connexions, an 
environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and 
rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web (http://cnx.org); 
and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Rice 

-- David Wiley, also a leader of the Cape Town Declaration; Chief 
Openness Officer for Flat World Knowledge, a new approach to 
college textbooks offering rigorously reviewed textbooks online 
free of cost to students (http://www.flatworldknowledge.com); and 
Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology & Technology at 
Brigham Young University.

-- Nicole Allen, leader of the Student PIRGs' Make Textbooks 
Affordable campaign, which aims to develop a textbook market with 
both a vibrant used book market and a plethora of learning 
content that is priced and sold fairly 

-- Mark Nelson, Digital Content Strategist for the National 
Association of College Stores, the trade association representing 
the higher education retail industry. He facilitates NACS 
three-pronged digital course materials strategy?partnerships, 
enhanced trade infrastructure, and education and awareness 

The 18th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held from 4:00 - 5:30 
PM on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 
Centennial D. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group 
will also host an open conversation about issues that surface at 
the Forum from 4:00 - 5:30 PM on Sunday, January 25 in room 403 
of the Colorado Convention Center.

The Forum will be available via SPARC podcast at a later date. 
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 http://www.arl.org/sparc/.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a 
division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents 
more than 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.