Innovators to challenge the economic crisis at the SPARC-ACRL forum

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For immediate release
June 15, 2009

For more information, contact:

Jennifer McLennan
(202) 296-2996 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org

Kara Malenfant
(312) 280-2510

kmalenfant [at] ala [dot] org

Innovators to challenge the economic crisis at the SPARC-ACRL forum
Organizers announce slate of presenters

Washington, DC and Chicago, IL – Library and publishing innovators will offer concrete data and strategies for “Rough waters: Navigating hard times in the scholarly communication marketplace,” at the next SPARC-ACRL forum. The forum, to be held at the Chicago meeting of the American Library Association in July, is co-sponsored by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The economy and its impact on library and higher education budgets are the most urgent concern for the library community today. While libraries have long been grappling with constrained collection budgets, we face a new urgency in continuing the transformation promised by Open Access and new technologies. This forum will take a bird's eye view of the scholarly communication marketplace and suggest tactics for navigating through tough times. Panelists will include:

  • Charles B. Lowry, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries, who will report on current fiscal year reductions to library budgets among ARL members and the continuing impact next fiscal year.
  • Ivy Anderson, Director of Collection Development & Management, California Digital Library, who will offer concrete strategies librarians can deploy today to help begin to evaluate the value of potential investments and offset some of the financial pressure.
  • Emma Hill, Executive Editor of The Journal of Cell Biology at Rockefeller University Press, who will demonstrate how some publishers are working to positively respond to recent challenges.
  • James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, who will take a global view of the scholarly communication marketplace and emphasize opportunities created by this crisis.

The moderator, representing the ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee, will emphasize the importance of current challenges and opportunities for libraries of all types and sizes.

The 19th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held Saturday, July 11, 2009 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM at the Sheraton Chicago, Ballroom II/III. The ACRL Scholarly Communications discussion group, which offers a more intimate setting to explore forum topics in greater depth, will be held Sunday, July 12, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM at the Intercontinental Hotel, Camelot room.
Registration is not required. For further details on the forum as they emerge, visit here.

This forum will be available via SPARC video-cast at a later date.


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.


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. ACRL is on the Web at