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, awards-entry.html. To view all available past entries, visit 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,
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