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

From: Jennifer McLennan and Kara Malenfant

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.

(More below the fold...)

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 University.
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 (http://www.maketextbooksaffordable.org).
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 (http://www.nacs.org).
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 http://www.arl.org/sparc.
SPARC
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/.
ACRL
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.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan
SPARC
(202) 296-2996 ext. 121
jennifer@arl.org

Kara Malenfant
ACRL
(312) 280-2510
kmalenfant@ala.org