American Library Association names Oakley scholarship awardee

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) awarded Carla Myers the 2014 Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship. The Library Copyright Alliance, which includes ALA, established the Robert L. Oakley Memorial Scholarship to support research and advanced study for librarians in their early-to-mid-careers who are interested and active in intellectual property, public policy, copyright and their impacts on libraries.

Myers serves as the director of access services at the University of Colorado’s Colorado Springs campus. Oftentimes, librarians are sought out by members of the university community whenever they have a copyright question, particularly regarding teaching and research. Many of the duties that librarians manage have copyright implications, yet most librarians receive no formal education on the U.S. copyright law. Myers’ research project will quantify the need for copyright education through a survey of library science schools to make the case for a standard copyright curriculum.

“I am excited and honored to be selected for this award and am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues in the library community to help promote awareness and understanding of copyright issues,” said Myers.

“Every librarian owes it to their communities and patrons to learn about copyright and how to aggressively use every clause in it designed to foster access to information,” said Adam Eisgrau, legislative counsel for ALA. “Every Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program owes it to every librarian to empower them to fully meet that responsibility.”

The Oakley Scholarship awards a $1,000 scholarship to individuals or a team of individuals who meet eligibility criteria to encourage and expand interest in and knowledge of these aspects of librarianship, as well as bring the next generation of advocates, lobbyists and scholars to the forefront with opportunities they might not otherwise have.

Professor and law librarian Robert Oakley was an expert on copyright law and wrote and lectured on the subject. He served on the Library Copyright Alliance representing the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and played a leading role in advocating for U.S. libraries and the public they serve at many international forums including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He served as the United States delegate to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights from 1997-2003.

Oakley testified before Congress on copyright, open access, library appropriations and free access to government documents and was a member of the Library of Congress’ Section 108 Study Group. A valued colleague and mentor for numerous librarians, Oakley was a recognized leader in law librarianship and library management who also maintained a profound commitment to public policy and the rights of library users.

More on the Oakley Scholarship

Carrie Russell is the Director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books and other public policy issues. She has a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MA in media arts from the University of Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at crussell@alawash.org.

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