The grand prize winners for 2008, from the University of Illinois at Chicago
Honors College, point to the basic fact that sharing critical research findings has
made advances in engineering possible—from the wheel to the rocket. (See “To
Infinity and Beyond,” By Danaya Panya, Sebastian Rivera, Hemanth Sirandas,
Uriel Rotstein, and Jaymeni Patel, http://urliek.blogspot.com/2009/01/sparky-
awards-entry.html. To view all available past entries, visit
http://www.sparkyawards.org/entries/.)
Through basic or intricate arguments in Sparky Awards entries, students have
advocated energetically for wider access to research—giving us valuable tools for
opening and broadening conversations with
other students, faculty, and administrators.
The Sparky Awards is a great start to a
different kind of conversation, and an
opportunity to promote library services—
including the information commons or media
services—and underscore that the library is a
key part of everyone’s learning experience.
The library can be the place to edit video,
browse media, work collaboratively, and
learn about citations and copyright.
This year, building on initiatives by
University of Pennsylvania, Brigham Young
University (BYU), and Dartmouth College in
2008, SPARC is calling on libraries to
syndicate the contest, so that students might
submit their entries to local contests as well as the national one. Randy Olsen,
University Librarian at BYU, reports from last year:
At BYU…the experience was remarkable. Although our contest was open
for less than a month, we received seven submissions prepared by 58
students. The night we screened the entries I invited the video producers
to introduce their works. In every case the students spoke articulately,
even passionately, about open access and it was obvious that they had
become conversant with all of the issues we as librarians care so much
about. By the end of the evening I felt that our investment in the
awards—an iTouch and two $50 checks—was money well spent.
RLI 264
20
A Different Kind of Conversation
(
C O N T I N U E D
)
JUNE 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
2007 Sparky Awards Grand Prize Winner, “Share,”
by Habib Yazdi, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, http://blip.tv/file/488550/
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