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SPARK Repository Wins American Library Association Award

Parkland Library, CETL to receive ACRL EBSCO award in June

Saturday, February 15, 2014
CHICAGO – An innovative scholarly initiative at Parkland College has earned a national library association award for the college units that developed it.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, selected the Parkland College Library and the Parkland College Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to receive the 2014 Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award, the ALA announced Friday.
The Parkland departments won the award for the cooperative project, “Scholarship at PARKland” (SPARK), Parkland’s online institutional repository.

A $500 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented to library Director Anna Maria Watkin and CETL Director Erika Hackman during the CJCLS Awards Dinner June 27 at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“SPARK makes excellent academic work visible, creating a clearer picture and facilitating a deeper understanding of student success,” award co-chairs David Wright of Surry Community College and Beth Lander of Manor College stated in a press release. “SPARK displayed exceptional innovation and offered promise for long-term impact. Their example helps foster the concept of institutional repositories at other community colleges, and in so doing, validates the work of students at two-year colleges as worthy of scholarly consideration.”

Launched in 2010, SPARK was one of the first institutional repositories created at a community college to promote, preserve and showcase scholarly and creative work of the college's students and faculty. It was originally conceived by Hackman and Sherry Cmiel, former information services librarian at Parkland, and funded through the Parkland College Association College Planning Committee’s Innovation Fund.
The open-access digital repository makes available to the public the rich body of scholarly and creative work of Parkland students, faculty, administration, and staff. SPARK offers a wide range of materials that anyone in the college or community can examine, from “A with Honors” student projects to Graphic Design Student Exhibition collections to academic publications by faculty. SPARK aims both to foster collaborations between faculty and students as well as between colleagues within and across disciplines and to assist Parkland College in fulfilling its mission to engage the community in learning. The repository is available at spark.parkland.edu.

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.
For more information regarding the ACRL CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

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