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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

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Influencing Public Policies

Advancing Scholarly Communication

Transforming Research Libraries

Enabling Programs

Influencing Public Policies

Federal Relations & Information Policy

Prue Adler, Associate Executive Director, Federal Relations & Information Policy

This program tracks activities of legislative, regulatory, and government agencies and related organizations in North America and abroad that impact research libraries. The program analyzes, responds to, and seeks to influence information, intellectual property, and telecommunications policies; promotes funding for numerous agencies and national institutions; and advances ARL positions reflecting member interests on these issues.

Copyright & Intellectual Property

Prue Adler, Associate Executive Director, Federal Relations & Information Policy

Updating copyright and intellectual property laws to meet the challenges of the networked environment has been a key focus for Congress, the courts, and state legislatures for several years. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, peer-to-peer file sharing and digital rights management, and legislation to create additional protections for databases have dominated the agenda.

ARL—along with the Library Copyright Alliance—analyzes, responds to, and seeks to influence copyright and intellectual property policies and advances ARL positions reflecting member interests on these issues.

Advancing Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication

Julia Blixrud, Assistant Executive Director, Scholarly Communication

Due to the complex nature of scholarly communication, the ARL Scholarly Communication program undertakes activities to understand and influence the forces affecting the production, dissemination, and use of scholarly and scientific information. The program seeks to promote innovative, creative, and affordable ways of sharing scholarly findings, particularly through championing new electronic techniques for recording and disseminating academic and research scholarship. It also collaborates with others to build broader engagement within the scholarly community in efforts to transform the scholarly communication system.


Heather Joseph, SPARC Executive Director

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an alliance of academic and research libraries and organizations working to correct market dysfunctions in the scholarly publishing system. Incubated by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to facilitate the emergence of systems that capitalize on the networked environment to disseminate research. Its strategies expand competition and support open access to address the rising cost of scholarly journals, especially in science, technology, and medicine--a trend which inhibits the advancement of scholarship.

Transforming Research Libraries

Transforming Research Libraries

Judy Ruttenberg, Program Director for Transforming Research Libraries

The transformation of research libraries mirrors, to a large degree, the ongoing evolution of research institutions and the practices of research and scholarship. ARL’s third, and newest, strategic direction focuses on new and expanding roles for ARL libraries to engage in the transformations affecting research and research-intensive teaching and learning.

Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

Clifford Lynch, CNI Executive Director

CNI is an organization dedicated to realizing the transformative promise of advanced information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual productivity. Founded in 1990, it is a joint program of ARL and EDUCAUSE, and is supported by some 200 dues-paying member institutions representing higher education, government, publishing, scholarly and professional societies, libraries, networking and telecommunications, and information technology. CNI works on a wide range of issues structured around four themes: developing and managing networked information content; transforming organizations and professions; building technology, standards, and infrastructure; and actively advocating networked information strategies.

Enabling Programs

Diversity Programs

Mark Puente, Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs

ARL Diversity Programs support efforts within research libraries to promote and develop staff and leaders representative of a diverse population. Included in these efforts are the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce, which promotes the recruitment and retention of library personnel from a variety of backgrounds, particularly those from groups traditionally underrepresented in the academic library workforce, and the Leadership & Career Development Program, which offers professional development opportunities to create networks and advance diverse leadership. ARL also offers several career development resources.

Leadership Development

Mark Puente, Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs

According to ARL's strategic goals for 2005-2009, there is a need to focus on new and expanding roles for ARL libraries to engage in the transformations affecting research and undergraduate and graduate education. ARL's Leadership Development initiatives assist research libraries to meet the instructional and research needs of higher education.

Statistics & Assessment/LibQUAL+®

Martha Kyrillidou, Senior Director, ARL Statistics and Service Quality Programs

Because of increased pressure for institutional accountability, research libraries are challenged to provide measures that document their contributions to teaching, research, scholarship, and community service. ARL serves a leadership role in the testing and application of academic research library statistics for North American institutions of higher education through its Statistics & Assessment program, which collects and reports quantitative and descriptive data about the traditional collections, personnel, services, and expenditures of research libraries. The program also supports ARL member efforts to develop new models for measurement, such as LibQUAL+®, that address issues of service quality, electronic resource usage, and outcomes assessment. Additionally, the Statistics program provides customized, confidential, analysis services for ARL members.

Visiting Program Officers

Sue Baughman, Deputy Executive Director

The Visiting Program Officer program provides an opportunity for a staff member in an ARL member library to assume responsibility for carrying out part or all of a project for ARL. The program provides a very visible professional development opportunity for an outstanding staff member and serves the membership as a whole by extending the capacity of ARL to undertake additional activities.