SPARC-ACRL forum at ALA: Focusing on the Berlin Open Access Declaration

The upcoming SPARC-ACRL forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication, to be held at the American Library Association (ALA) meeting in New Orleans, LA, will focus on expanding support for the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. The Declaration, issued in 2003, outlines concrete steps to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge, including encouraging researchers and cultural heritage custodians to make materials openly available.

The goals of the declaration are advanced in part by an annual conference of international leaders. In 2011, this meeting will take place in North America for the first time, offering a unique opportunity for the library community to continue its leadership role in advancing Open Access. The Berlin Declaration has garnered signatures from nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world — including the leaders of organizations ranging from the Max Plank Society to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Academia Europaea. Most recently, both Harvard University and the International Federation of Library Associations added their names to the roster.

The next SPARC-ACRL forum will explore the motivations behind the Berlin Declaration and its impact on the global research community. It will also present the opportunity for North American libraries to encourage their institutions to sign onto the document and become engaged in further advancing Open Access by promoting the statement’s call to action.

The forum will be held Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Morial Convention Center, Room 383. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group, which offers a more intimate setting to explore topics in greater depth, will explore how we can bring a global action like the Berlin Open Access Declaration to our own institutions through our education and outreach programs.  The Discussion Group will be held Sunday, June 26, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the New Orleans Marriott, Mardi Gras H Room.

Read more about the Berlin Declaration and the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference.