Friday, February 02, 2007

The British Columbia Library Association Resolution on Open Access

June 19, 2004, is noted on Peter Suber's Open Access Timeline as the date the British Columbia Library Association endorsed a Resolution on Open Access, one of the first library associations in the world to take this step (after IFLA, August 2002).

What is perhaps even more remarkable, given the vigorous debate at many an association, especially around that time, is that the Resolution was endorsed unanimously, with full support from BCLA members.

Since endorsement of the Resolution on Open Access, BCLA leaders have continually supported and advocated for open access, participating in Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research open access consultations with strong submissions in favour of open access.

Most recently, BCLA signed the EU Petition for Guaranteed Public Access to Publicly Funded Research Results.

On April 19, 2007 the BCLA conference will feature an all-day conference on open access, Beyond Limits: Building Open Access Collections, featuring primarily local leaders in open access initiatives (OA publishers, IR coordinators, E-LIS), with special distance-participation guests Peter Suber and Jean-Claude Bradley [disclosure: I am co-coordinator of the preconference].

BCLA reflects a spirit of openness in all of its endeavours. Listservs are open to all. People join BCLA because they know what we do, what we stand for, not because they would be denied access without membership. BCLA is a strong, vibrant, much-loved and well run association, healthy in every sense.

I am proud to be a BCLA member, and a member of BCLA's Information Policy Committee which drafted the Resolution on Open Access.

The Resolutions developed by long-time policy leaders in the Information Policy Committee often start with a Salon. Many thanks to local open access leader John Willinsky for the IPC's first Salon on Open Access, in September 2003.

If your library association does not yet have such a resolution, I recommend it. Once we understand the direction, it is much easier to figure out how to get where we want to go.

This post is part of the Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement series.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

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