01 March 2007

Copyright Collaboration

Yesterday was Professional Development Day at the college and we worked on setting goals. One of mine was to use the skills and knowledge I gain at a workshop and apply it when I return to strengthen our team and the library.

More specifically, I am attending the ACRL preconference on copyright. The college and the Library has neither sufficiently addressed copyright, nor have we developed any kind of resource for faculty that have basic questions.

I want to develop and implement a "Copyright Questions" page to our faculty resources that addresses the most frequently asked questions and direct them to an identified resource if they need further help. In doing so, the Library would help clarify the college's position on copyright. We would work with the Provost's office and perhaps a legal consultant to provide appropriate information to faculty. We would review other college's copyright websites: Smith, Wellesley, Bates, Carlton, and many more. We would identify particular issues we would address and those issues that would lead to consultation.

So, once I developed my goal, we shared it with the group. I then find out that the VP of Administration has already initiated a institutional copyright policy group with no representation from the library! My question to him was how could the college try to address copyright without collaborating with the library? The library is where students come to get information from their professors; it is where faculty leave reserves; it is to whom the majority of questions regarding copyright are addressed.

After sharing my goals with him, I will be the representative on the committee from here on out. But it only reminds me of how important it is for the Library to remind the greater college community, not just the faculty, of our role. As the VP said, he wouldn't know to turn to the library for such things. Shame on us for his not knowing that. Again, it is an issue of our image: he didn't see the Library as a place for collaboration or as a central part of the academic core. That is our problem, not his.

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