The Library Copyright Institute

Hello world! I’ve left this blog quiet for the last several months as we have eased into some leadership changes at Duke University Libraries that have reinvigorated our focus on addressing information needs across the full research lifecycle, from collections to discovery to research to publication and back again. That focus reflects on several major principles and goals of the Libraries’ strategic plan, Engage, Discover, Transform. I’m really excited about the direction we’re headed.

Closely connected with those goals are a few long-term projects that I’ll be posting about over the next few months. I’m pleased to announce one today: The Library Copyright Institute.

The Library Copyright Institute is a collaborative project with colleagues from UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University and NC State University, all part of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN).  You can read the full press release here.

The project is meant to be a pilot to develop a program of systematic, deep instruction on copyright law for librarians. The Institute is specifically targeted at training librarians at institutions with fewer resources and no copyright expert on staff. The premise of the Institute is that we’re all better off when the whole library community is widely and deeply engaged on the legal issues that most directly affect our ability to help users. Regardless of what library you work at, we all need to be able to confidently apply fair use, understand licenses, and assess public domain status. Having fewer resources should not mean that the beneficial rights granted by copyright law are unavailable to librarians, researchers, teachers and students at those institutions.

We’ve already identified a number of excellent instructors who have indicated a willingness to help us teach what we expect to be a 3-day intensive experience, hosted sometime in late summer 2019 at NCSU’s James B. Hunt, Jr. Library. We will have an open call for applications sometime in Spring 2019 and for those selected, attendance will be free (including lodging and food). We’re aiming to reach librarians in the Southeast with this first version of the Institute, but are designing the program with an eye toward replicating the Institute in other regions in the future.

I look forward to seeing how this project progresses. If you have an interest in what we are doing, I’d love to hear from you:

The Library Copyright Institute was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS Grant RE‐87‐18‐0081‐18).

3 thoughts on “The Library Copyright Institute”

  1. Hi David,
    Quick question. As someone who has tried to pay attention to copyright issues over the years (I have been an editor/publisher for 43 years) I am wondering if you think your Institute will also be educating those of us in the scholarly book publishing industry? Thanks, Roy

    1. Hi Roy,
      This project is a pilot focused on libraries, but I could definitely see a related or similar project in the future, oriented toward those in the scholarly publishing industry. I’ve found some of the most interesting and useful lessons I’ve learned about copyright have come from interactions with scholarly publishers.

  2. What an exciting initiative! And with so many copyright experts in TRLN, it is a great place to host such a program. Based on your description, I take it that librarians who are already copyright specialists – even if we are the sole copyright specialists at smaller or leaner-staffed institutions – are not the primary audience for this, but rather non-specialists who need to fill a gap in copyright expertise at their institutions? Thank you!

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