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February 4, 2010

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

Washington, DC – Three new student films on information sharing have been voted the best by a panel of new media experts, students, and librarians in the third annual Sparky Awards. Organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and adopted by campuses everywhere, the Sparky Awards contest calls on entrants to creatively illustrate in a short video the value of openly sharing ideas.

The winning videos offer another glimpse of the compelling student perspective on how open sharing fosters creativity, innovation, and solves problems. This year’s winners are:

The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 along with a Sparky Award statuette, a copy of Apple Final Cut Studio, and an iPod Nano (courtesy of Campus MovieFest). The Runner Up will receive $500 plus a personalized award certificate. These award-winning videos will be screened in conjunction with the Campus MovieFest 2010 Southern Regional Grand Finale.

“Having open access to find and share information is critical for my own inspiration and improvement as a student,” said Grand Prize Winner Kazuyuki Ishii. “We all learn from one another to gain knowledge, and a lot of amazing, unpredictable, and productive outcomes are born as a result of people sharing information. Sharing information openly is the key to surfacing new ideas, enhancing personal progress, and enriching all of our lives in the ways that we should in this day and age.”

“The entries to this year’s contest bear out once again that students have a unique commitment to open sharing, but also that their commitment and understanding are evolving with each year,” commented Jennifer McLennan, Director of Programs and Operations for SPARC. “This year, we saw a distinct and deliberate effort to blend new and existing content together to deliver compelling video statements within the framework of copyright law. And, as ever, reviewing the students’ entries was a simple pleasure. We hope the community will take advantage of the chance to explore them.”

The organizers now invite students, faculty, librarians, and others on campus to weigh in for their favorite in the first installment of the Sparky People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award highlights all of the 2009 entries, including dozens from campus-based contest hosts at Penn State, Brigham Young, the University of Pennsylvania, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and others. The winner will receive $500 plus a personalized award certificate. To vote, visit The deadline to vote for the People’s Choice Award is March 7, 2010.

The Sparky Awards are organized by SPARC and co-sponsored by: the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, Campus MovieFest, the Center for Social Media, the New Media Consortium (NMC), the Open Video Alliance, Penn Libraries, Students for Free Culture, the Student PIRGs, and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).

For full details, visit the Sparky Awards Web site at

THE SPARKY AWARDS are organized and sponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), an alliance of academic libraries and research institutions working to build on the opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Membership in SPARC is open to libraries of all sizes.