Thursday, October 27, 2022

Collaborative Problem Solving! : 2022 Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference

Copyright symbol made from puzzle pieces

When the Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference ended, I set an intention to get notes up quickly on the five sessions. Clearly life intervened. I'm sorry.  Finally, here are the notes to the last session, which occurred on Sept. 16.  A recording of the session and slides are available.


Bring your copyright questions to this session! Our group of panelists will demonstrate the various ways copyright librarians often work together to think through and address copyright issues.


My Summary:

The three topics were: Copyright Claims Board, ILL, and preservation. Yes, three very different topics and all quite interesting. One thing that stood out to me - across the board - was libraries to think beyond the norm. With the CCB, that showed up in libraries taking the step of opting out even if others felt they didn't need to. With ILL - to me - it was the recognition that CONTU was created in 1979 and the world has changed a lot since then.  In terms of preservation, it was the idea (and complication) of preservation being done across country boundaries.

Many interesting details and worth a listen!


  • Crews noted the importance of each word in the session title. Collaborative. Problem. Solving. 
  • Crews started by saying that they would be providing new problems for us to solve.
  • Ana Enriquez talked about the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) and her institution's (Penn State) efforts to get the word out about it. (See slides)
    • Her presentation included an overview of the CCB and contained lots of good details,including thoughts about sovereign immunity and whether there could be a constitutional challenge to the Copyright Claims Board.
  • Cindy Kristof talked about CONTU – ILL and Resource Sharing (See slides)
    • She begin with quick comments about the Copyright Claims Board and opting out, and the complication of doing so at Kent State University Libraries.
    • She provided interesting pre-history to CONTU as well as links to presentations, etc., on alternatives to CONTU.
    • There have been no lawsuits associated with Section 108.
    • Kenny and Cindy talked about the cost of copyright fees versus the cost of a journal subscription. The specific examples given were fascinating and not something I would have considered, given that I do not do ILL.
  •  Crews talked about preservation activities within libraries.
    • Preservation activities are collaborative because they are about acquisitions, borrowing, collection development, donor agreements and licenses, etc.
      • An agreement may impact preservation, if it is restrictive.
      • An agreement can be neutral, restrictive, or generous.
      • He talked through the language in 108 and provided interesting questions. For example, what does damaged mean? What "judgment calls" must we make?
    • Can we preserve works before they are destroyed?
      • What happens is preservation means moving a work across country boundaries?
    • These are questions that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is thinking about. Crews noted that new information from WIPO on this topic is coming.
      • Will there be a treaty or will there be guidance?
      • He encouraged folks to work through their professional organizations in order to know what is happening and to contribute to the WIPO discussion.
  • Q&A
    • Ana Enriquez reminded us of the breadth of fair use and also that the usage details matter.
      • "Fair Use-y"
      • "What if..."  "It depends"
      • What are the institution's standards?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Article: Everything dies, including information

 This MIT Technology Review article reminds us what we know, but may have forgotten:

Everything dies: people, machines, civilizations. Perhaps we can find some solace in knowing that all the meaningful things we’ve learned along the way will survive. But even knowledge has a life span. Documents fade. Art goes missing. Entire libraries and collections can face quick and unexpected destruction. 

Digitization was seen as a way of extending the life of information, but we know that a digital collection can be lost in seconds. Just think about what has been lost in Ukraine that was in physical or digital form. 

This article doesn't provide a solution. Joe Janes from the University of Washington, notes that we do "try to extend the normal life span as far as possible through a variety of techniques", but that is no guarantee against eventual failure and loss. 

Perhaps keeping information alive for as a long as we can is all we can do and realize that "forever" is a dream.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Nov. 2022 - Feb. 2023: Jill's Presentation Schedule

Jill Hurst-Wahl

In a few weeks, I'll be giving my first in-person presentation since 2019. WOW! Being back in front of a group will be wonderful! Over the next few months, I'm also given several online webinars and a copyright class. If you're at any of these events, please say 'hello"!

Nov. 3, 1:45-3:00 p.m.: Creating Remote Access to Library Collection at NYLA in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Over the last several years, libraries of all types have begun leveraging their collections to provide additional access to materials through the Controlled Digital Lending legal framework. In this session, the speakers will review the legal and technical fundamentals of CDL-type access, build an understanding of risk management, and discuss how to talk about CDL to relevant stakeholders. Examples of success and roadblocks will be shared.

Also on the panel will be Matthew Kopel and John Raymond. The session is sponsored by Section on Management of Information Resources and Technology (SMART).

Dec. 6, 10:00-11:30 a.m. ET: Starting from Where You Are - Becoming Anti-Isms. Webinar for CLRC. Registration is now open for members of the Central NY Library Resources Council (CLRC) and the Empire State Library Network (ESLN). [updated 10/25/2022]

Steps towards becoming anti-racist include developing an awareness of your own culture, cultivating cultural humility, and recognizing that it is a never-ending process that is not a straight line. This interactive session will have participants thinking about their own cultural backgrounds and the cultures of the community members our libraries serve. Resources for continuing this journey towards being anti-racist and anti-isms will be provided.

Feb. 7, 2023, 2:00-- 3:30 p.m. ET: Copyright and Fair Use in Academic Libraries. Webinar for LYRASIS. 

While U.S. copyright law changes slowly, what does change is how we think about the application of that law to situations in our libraries. This webinar will use common scenarios to discuss the application of fair use in academic libraries, including digital lending in a controlled environment (a.k.a. CDL), the use of digital resources, interacting with students and faculty on fair use in photocopying, and much more. Basic copyright information will be provided, so that everyone enters the scenarios with similar knowledge. There will be time for participant questions throughout.

This webinar will use interactive components to allow participants to apply what they are learning to their own situations.

April 17- May 28, 2023: U.S. Copyright Law in the Library: A Beginner's Guide! for ALA.  Registration is not yet available.

The library is a hub of content, all of it subject to copyright law. The legal reality of copyright is dynamic—changes in technology have created a landscape that is constantly adapting and can be difficult to predict. If you don't have any formal training in copyright law, it can be intimidating to know how to answer your patrons' copyright questions and to know what you can and cannot do with your library’s content and resources. It can be tough to understand the line between providing information and answering a legal question.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Partners in Planning: A Strategic Planning Approach for Friends Groups

This New York Library Association webinar was focused on "A Strategic Planning Approach for Friends Groups" as they partner with their public libraries. Joy Fuller, who has 10+ year in strategic planning, gave this webinar. She is the author of Strategic Planning for Public Libraries.   

My Summary:

Interesting that most people attending the webinar are familiar with strategic planning. Perhaps what was different for us is seeing explicitly how a library friends group can participate in the library's strategic planning. From Fuller's comments, a friends group can participate from the start - and that is the real lesson. As a library is engaging in strategic planning, it should include its friends right away and keep the friends engaged. This will allow the friends to provide input into and support for the process. In addition, it will ensure that the friends are aligned with the library through the strategic planning life cycle.


Fuller began with two polls:

  • How engaged is your Friends group with your library's strategic planning process?  - 62% of the webinar participants are not directly engaged in their library's strategic planning process.
  • How familiar are we with strategic planning concepts and approaches? - 79% somewhat or very familiar

Why should friends be partners in planning?

  • Enables friends organizations to fulfill their purpose and mission
  • Supports the library's efforts to create a community-focused plan
  • Facilitates ongoing alignment between the library and friends
  • Helps build awareness and membership for friends

In this webinar, Fuller talked about framework and approach.

Four Key Phases

These are common phrases, even if approaches may differ.

1) Prepare for strategic planning

What will the library do?

  • Define governance and approval process
  • Select and organize the core planning team
  • Evaluate the need for external support
  • Develop a project plan and timeline
  • Identify key internal and external stakeholders
  • Prepare a communications plan

Friends might be involved how?

  • Serve as a representative on planning team
  • Receive updates from library on the process and timeline
  • Be included as key stakeholders for continued involvement
  • Support communications plan within the community

2) Conduct community assessment (most mission critical)

What will the library do? Library turns outward in the community to understand how the library can serve the community.

  • Determine data needed for assessment
  • Gather and analyze existing data
  • Conduct conversations with key stakeholders and community members
  • Survey the community 

How might friends be involved? Friends can have a huge impact.

  • Sharing existing data with the library
  • Advise on groups or individuals to include in community conversations
  • Promote participation in library surveys and community conversations
  • Include friends questions in library survey

Benefits for friends: 

  • Directly support and provide input into the strategic plan
  • Outreach opportunity for friends

Case study: Penfield Public Library conducted a community survey as part of their 2021 strategic planning process. The friends included a question in the survey about learning more about becoming a friend of the library.  50+% respondents were interested in working with the friends. One result was new volunteers for their annual book sale.

Tips: Being active in the first phase will help the friends become a part of the survey. Make your questions actionable. Don't use sentiment or awareness questions, because they are less actionable. Limit yourself to 1-2 questions. Have a plan for following up quickly.  Provide actionable options. Help new friends get to know and work with existing friends. Maintain engagement and continue to follow-up.

3) Develop strategic plan content

What will the library do? 

  • Align community assessment with internal capabilities
  • Craft mission, vision, and values statements
    • Mission: The what - purpose & who the organization serves.
    • Vision: The why - what the community could be if the library achieves its mission. Future focused.
    • Values: The how - The norms and behaviors that are encouraged as the organization works towards its mission. They are observable and actionable.
  • Identify strategic priorities and goals
    • Strategic priorities: Broad, high-level area where the library can drive significant impact
    • Goals: Description of what the library will accomplish through the strategic priorities
  • Review the strategic plan with key stakeholders
  • Finalize the strategic plan

How might friends be involved? 

  • Review the plan before it is finalized (for feedback, not approval)
  • Gather library priorities and goals to inform friends priorities
  • Update broader friends group and community
  • User library strategic plan to inform friends' strategic planning


  • Opportunity for the library and friends group to gain alignment
  • Visibility into library strategic priorities and goals that will inform friends initiatives

4) Implement and measure progress - the longest part of the cycle. This is where you see the intertwined partnership with the friends.

 What will the library do? 

  • Create SMART objectives
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound
  • Develop an action plan - A list of all the things the library will do over the next one year to advance its strategic goals and objectives.
    • Initiative
    • Ownership
    • Start date
    • End date
  • Measure the success of initiatives
  • Manage and communicate change
  • Integrate continuous improvement

How might friends be involved? 

  • Provide ongoing support of library strategic initiatives in alignment with friends mission
  • Cascade communications to the community
  • Maintain regular cadence of touch-points with the library


  • Supercharges friends core, day-to-day initiatives
  • Helps friends with continued planning and prioritization
  • Ensures consistent messaging with the community

Planning for Friends Groups - what she has present is relevant, however:

  • Identify your friends stakeholders
  • Preview outputs from the library's plan
  • Gather feedback from stakeholders
  • Align friends and library plans 

Resources mentioned during the brief Q&A:

Campus Collaborations: Partners Behind Every Corner : 2022 Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference

Copyright symbol made from puzzle pieces

It has definitely taken me longer to write up these sessions than I anticipated! This session occurred on Sept. 14.  A recording of the session is available.


There are many opportunities for partnership at our institutions to help address copyright questions and issues encountered on the job as well as educate others about the law. In this session we’ll explore real world examples of such partnerships and discuss tips and best practices for  building and sustaining them!


My Summary: 

  • For me, this sessions connected well with "It Takes a Village" in that we should not be copyright folks operating individually. Rather we need to see ourselves as part of a network that can provide information, knowledge, and support.
  • If you are on a campus, you should know who the general counsel is and create a relationship with that person. Create that relationship - even it isn't a tight relationship - before you need to call on that person for help (or that person needs to call on you). 
  • Look around your institution for others whose work touches upon copyright and fair use. Get to know them and build a network with them. This may take time and effort because people may not immediate see the benefit.


What do you mean by collaboration?

  • Working with students and faculty
  • Helping folks with their project, where they need help on copyright
  • Working with people inside the institution on institution projects
  • Helping people who come to the "copyright officer" for help, who might be external to the institution
  • Collective action
  • Sharing ideas
  • Learning from each other
  • Sometimes need to work to pool objectives together
  • Collaborations need to a clear goals, which may mean redefining goals as the collaboration continues
  • No one can be the master of everything 
  • "Collaboration means working with others outside my team" (from chat)
  • Collaboration with copyright-focused people at other institutions
  • The librarian may collaborate with general counsel. Could also collaborate with collection donors.

What do we want to accomplish (outside of completing a specific project)?

  • Broaden the reach of the service on campus (i.e., copyright, scholarly communications)
  • Further the institution
  • Promote the service 
  •  Correcting copyright mis-education
  • Teaching others about copyright, even if the lesson is only a few minutes in length

Copyright myths?

  • The 10% rule will not die!
  • Reminder - we don't need to go down every rabbit hole we're presented with.
  • It's on the Internet and so "fair"
  • "I said I didn't own it, so I can use it."
  • If you own the physical object, you own the rights to the object.

Why libraries in taking the lead on this?

  • Libraries understand how to plan in order to use an item within the bounds of the law. 

Do you find that the mental link between physical possession and intellectual rights is more prevalent with special collections and archives? As though the rare the item, the more concentrated the rights within the object?

  • Users need to understand that when they pay for a scan of an item from an archive, they have not paid to use the item.
  • When the requestor know the rights holder, that relationship with the rights holder may impact how the requestor thinks about fair use.  Can be a positive or negative.
  •  The name of a collection conveys wrongly that the library has obtained rights for everything in the collection. The XYZ collection may contain items from XYZ, who has transferred rights to the library, as well as other items to with XYZ had no rights.
  • Publishers want users to seek permission for everything.
  • Orphan works

Collaborative partners or players when dealing with publishers, faculty research, etc.?

  • Institutional repository and data services with the library
  • Office of research compliance
  • The bigger the problem, the higher in administration you want to go, e.g., dean, chancellor
  • Promotion and tenure committees
  • Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence (from chat)
  • Office of technology transfer
  • Office of government relations
  • Learning Technologies (from chat) 
  • Office of Graduate Studies (from chat)
  • Disability services for students /student accessibility services (from chat)
  • Alumni office (from chat)
  • IT compliance

How does the unpublished status of archival materials come into play with the physical versus intellectual property issue?

  • Unpublished can feel personal and private.
  • Circumstances can matter
  • There is no blanket rule for unpublished materials. Fair use applies!
  • For unpublished works, they receive fundamentally the same legal protection under today's law as a published work.
  • There may be an agreement with the donor.
  • There may be a privacy aspect.
  •  Public domain rules may be different if a work is unpublished.
  • Tracking down rights for unpublished works can be difficult.
  • Unpublished works are more likely to become orphan works.

What are some things we can do inside our organizations to build a collaborate atmosphere?

  • Conferences, events, programs
  • Relationship building with faculty and others
  • Articulate how you can help people & articulate it quickly
  • Spontaneous relationships often lead to the best collaborations
  • Align a project to a strategic vision or framework in your institution. Then the project will encounter less friction.
  • Reduce the silos in your institution. 
  • Encourage people to collaborate across units.
  • Help people understand when to bring you into a project. 
  • Remember that copyright is a series of choices. Help people see the choices then can make.

Does the specificity of the subject matter involved in something like a special library make it easier or more difficult to collaborate in general? Have you  found specific fields that tend to be more or less willing to collaborate between departments/institutions?

  • Education departments are very open (from chat)

Hoe do you work in your institution to create a better (more appropriate) copyright guidelines for the institution? How do you work to get ride of a policy that is stuck in the past? 

  • The reason to have a policy is to have a policy
  • Talk to colleagues at other institutions and ask about their policies. "Hey, we're the only ones who still have this type of policy." 
  • Does enforcing the policy create a conversation, rather than a "no"? 
  • How do you implement the policy? Do you flag things that raise a question? 
  • Policies are often created to address a specific issue. Ask colleagues what the issue was. What is the history?
  • Who do you partner with? 
  • The unit that will be most affected by the policy (e.g., ILL department). Talk to the people who are doing the work.
  • Are you protecting the institution's legal liability or how much work staff does?
  • Think critically about whether this is a library policy or that it will have ripple effects across the institution. Do you need to make small local changes or larger changes that impact the entire institution?

When do you work with general counsel? 

  • Depends on the relationship you have with general counsel and the lines of communications. Start locally and find someone who can push the conversation higher to the office or person who can make the change.
  • Just calling general counsel - as library staff - is likely not going to get you a meeting.
  • General counsel is not there do adopt a policy. They are there to contribute towards the creation of the policy. In an academic library, the dean/director may be the person to adopt the policy.
  • Work towards having an good relationship with the general counsel, if you're the copyright person. That can be helpful long-term. You will be able to support each other, as well as refer questions to each other.