May 25, 2022

A New Pilot Project From SPARC: First-of-Its-Kind Professional Development Program for Open Education Librarians

From Nicole Allen at SPARC:

Today, SPARC announced the pilot of the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, a first-of-its-kind professional development initiative aimed at empowering open education leaders within academic libraries. The program offers intensive training for library professionals to support the use, development, and advocacy of open educational resources and practices in North American higher education, with emphasis on leadership skills. Open educational resources (OER) are freely available academic materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students.

“Interest in open education has grown exponentially among academic and research libraries, and open education librarianship is beginning to gain traction as a field,” said Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for SPARC. “As more libraries seek to add open education capacity to their staff, the goal of our program is to empower a new wave of library professionals as leaders for open education on campus.”

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program spans two semesters, beginning with an eight-week intensive online course in the fall to build open education subject matter expertise, followed by a mentored capstone project in the spring to build leadership skills. The pilot cohort consists of fourteen fellows selected from SPARC member libraries who will participate both as students and creators, helping to improve and hone the curriculum between now and April 2018. The pilot will be conducted primarily online, although the entire cohort will meet face-to-face next week at the 14th Annual Open Education Conference in Anaheim, CA.


SPARC plans to fully launch the Open Education Leadership Program in the fall of 2018 following the conclusion of the pilot. The program will be open to library professionals at higher education institutions in the U.S. and Canada, with priority enrollment and a tuition discount for SPARC member libraries.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.