The SPARKY Awards - A Contest to Promote the Open Exchange of Information
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If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
- George Bernard Shaw

SPARC is pleased to welcome these co-sponsors for the 2008 Sparky Awards:

Association of College and Research Libraries

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), represents more than 13,500 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.

Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. 

Campus MovieFest

The numbers of students participating in Campus MovieFest each year have grown significantly since first launched in 2001.  100,000 students attending 35 different schools in the United States and the UK have made over three thousand movies and CMF is just getting started.  CMF has awarded over $300,000 in prizes, plus the events offer global exposure to students thanks to partners including TBS and Turner Classic Movies as well as media coverage from The Today Show to ABC World News Tonight to CNN.  The phenomenon shows no sign of slowing either, because as long as students have a story to tell, CMF will be there to bring their tale to the world.

The Center for Social Media

The Center for Social Media, an initiative of American University‚Äôs School of Communication, examines strategies to use media as creative tools for public knowledge and action. 

The New Media Consortium (NMC)

NMC is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Its hundreds of member institutions constitute an elite list of the most highly regarded colleges and universities in the world, as well as leading museums, key research centers, and some of the world's most forward-thinking companies. For more than 15 years, the consortium and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry. The consortium's Horizon Reports are regarded worldwide as the most timely and authoritative sources of information on new and emerging technologies available to education anywhere.

Open Video Alliance

The Open Video Alliance is a coalition of organizations committed to the idea that the basic tools for creating, sharing, and using video should be available to everyone.

Penn Libraries

The Penn Libraries system includes sixteen libraries and has been in continuous operation since 1750. Penn Libraries actively explore new media by providing courseware support, encouraging technology integration and supporting creative study through flexible collaborative spaces. The Weigle Information Commons, a joint undertaking of the School of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost and the Penn Libraries, is a high-tech space that provides undergraduates with integrated academic support services for library research, writing, communication, new media, time management and planning strategies.

Right to Research Coalition

Founded by students in the summer of 2009, the Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of 31 undergraduate and graduate student organizations, representing nearly 7 million students, that promotes a more open scholarly publishing system. The Right to Research Coalition believes that no student should be denied access to the scholarly articles they need, because they or their institution cannot afford access. The coalition works to educate the next generation of scholars and researchers about Open Access and to advocate for policies at the local, national, and international levels that expand access to the results of research.

Students for Free Culture

Students for Free Culture (SFC) is a diverse, non-partisan group of students and young people who are working to get their peers involved in the free culture movement. Launched in April 2004 at Swarthmore College, SFC has helped establish student groups at colleges and universities across the United States. Today, SFC chapters exist at over 30 colleges, from Maine to California, with many more getting started around the world.

Students for Free Culture was founded by two Swarthmore students after they sued voting-machine manufacturer Diebold for abusing copyright law in 2003. Named after the book Free Culture by Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig, SFC is part of a growing movement, with roots in the free software / open source community, media activists, creative artists and writers, and civil libertarians. Groups with which SFC has collaborated include Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Downhill Battle.

The Student PIRGs

The Student PIRGs are a network of state-based, student-directed and funded public interest organizations active on over 200 college campuses in 20 states. 


The Sparky Awards are organized and sponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). An alliance supported and funded by hundreds of academic libraries and research institutions, SPARC promotes new scholarly communication models that use the Internet to expand sharing of information. SPARC was created in 1997 as an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and operates under ARL's non-profit status.

SPARC is a founder of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, representing taxpayers, patients, physicians, researchers, and institutions that support open public access to taxpayer-funded research.

Contact: Jennifer McLennan, SPARC Director of Communications (jennifer at arl dot org)