SPARC Innovator Award | SPARC
"Working through libraries in all corners of the world, the international nonprofit Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) embodies the notion of 'knowledge without boundaries.' Established in 1999, the small but influential organization has helped libraries in developing and transition economy countries put programs in place that help to remove economic, technical, and legal barriers to accessing information. Its dedicated leaders have been at the heart of the cause from the beginning, as original signatories on the Budapest Open Access Declaration in 2002. Now working in 50 partner countries, EIFL negotiates with publishers for affordable access to e-resources, while at the same time leads forward-looking advocacy campaigns for Open Access to research literature and fair copyright for users. Its aim is to empower libraries to leverage information for education, learning, research, and sustainable community development. For its great strides in putting libraries in developing and transition countries at the center of the movement to democratize access to information, and increasing the visibility of scholarly research, SPARC has recognized EIFL with its June 2014 Innovator Award. Despite being a lean organization with a $2.7 million budget and just 11 staff members (most who work from their home offices, spanning from Ireland to Chile to Ukraine to keep overhead low), EIFL has a substantial reach. It works in Africa, Asia, and Europe to create library consortia that share resources thereby saving money and speaking with a stronger voice to advocate for the adoption of Open Access policies and practices, to support the creation of institutional repositories, and to build capacity on library copyright issues ..."