SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA to examine open-access monographs

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For immediate release
December 1, 2009

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


SPARC-ACRL forum to examine open-access monographs

Washington, DC and Chicago, IL – Three ambitious initiatives to deliver free online access to scholarly monographs will be featured at the next installment of the SPARC-ACRL forum, “The ebook transition: Collaborations and innovations behind open-access monographs.” The forum, co-sponsored by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), will be held in conjunction with the Boston meeting of the American Library Association in January.

The market-based business model for scholarly monographs, long under pressure due to decreased library purchasing, must now accommodate a transition to ebooks. Many non-profit publishers, including university presses, are actively exploring new publishing models to support scholarly monographs, including open-access distribution and collaborative initiatives with university libraries. This next SPARC-ACRL forum will feature three pioneering initiatives to deliver free online access to scholarly monographs, and will highlight opportunities for libraries to support innovations in this important area.

Presenters will include:

  • Michael Jensen, Director of Strategic Web Communications for the National Academies Press (NAP), on the NAP’s successful decade-long program to deliver free online access to scientific and technical monographs. See for details.
  • Patrick Alexander, Director of The Pennsylvania State University Press and co-director of Penn State University Libraries’ Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing, on a well-regarded Romance Studies monograph series that was revived with an open distribution component in collaboration with the Penn State University Library. See for details.
  • Maria Bonn, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Office at the University of Michigan Libraries, on the Digital Culture Books project and other coordination between the Libraries and the University of Michigan Press. See  

This forum will also feature an experimental new, interactive format that integrates the type of robust and engaging discussion typical of the ACRL Sunday discussion group. Following the presentations, participants will be invited to connect in smaller groups and consider specific questions on how open-access monographs figure in their local campus collections and scholarly communication programs. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group will not meet on Sunday.

The 20th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held Saturday, January 16, 2009 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the Sheraton Boston, Back Bay Ballroom A/B.

Registration is not required. For further details on the forum, visit

This forum will be available via SPARC video-cast 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


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