To celebrate this month, the St. Mary’s Library will be featuring different women’s history resources on the In the Collection portion of the Library’s website. We’ll also have a series of posts about research materials related to women’s history, as well as amazing information you can access online through various archival collections.
Fair Use is like a muscle; unused, it atrophies, while exercise makes it grow.
—Patricia Aufderheide & Peter Jaszi in Reclaiming Fair Use
February 27th marks the end of Fair Use Week, which makes this post a little late to the party. Despite my tardiness, I still think this event merits mention. Like so many other issues, copyright is likely something we’re all vaguely aware of hanging around in the distance alongside “the cloud,” “big data,” and other buzzwords we hear on a regular basis but will never admit we don’t fully understand. Somewhere way beyond this mythical Realm of Copyright is Fair Use. It’s likely in a shed, out in the middle of nowhere, where only teachers and college professors venture to visit from time to time.
Before I get totally lost in my painful mixed metaphors, let’s take a minute to learn a little more about Fair Use.
Thanks to the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center at the NCSU Libraries, we have a good, plain-language definition of this elusive concept:
“Fair use is an exception to copyright that permits unauthorized use in cases where where the value of the use to society is greater than the harm done to the rightholder…fair use is about what you are doing, what you are using, how much you are using, and if your use undermines the value of the original.”
You may have read about the 4 Factors of Fair Use, those murky, checklist-but-not-really-a-checklist items that are meant to help you determine when you’re taking advantage of Fair Use and when you’re really just taking advantage. These 4 Factors are (again from NCSU Libraries):
- the purpose and character of your use,
- the nature of the work,
- the amount and substantiality of your use
- the effect of your use on the market for the original.
Fair Use is rarely clear-cut, and many artists, educators, writers, and filmmakers refrain from using any copyrighted materials in their work or classrooms for fear of copyright infringement. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is but one of many organizations that are trying to change that. This year, between Feb. 23 and the 27th, ARL is sponsoring (or sponsored, depending on when you read this) Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the Doctrine of Fair Use.
On the Fair Use Week website you’ll find an events calendar filled with lectures (both in person and online) and a collection of resources on copyright and Fair Use including videos, blog posts, best practices, essays and a fantastic infographic, which has been made free for reuse and copied below. According to ARL, “every week is fair use week,” so take some time to learn about Fair Use…then maybe move on to attempting to understand “big data.”
As we near the end of Black History Month it’s important to keep in mind that there are a wealth of free research materials on African American history. So whether you’re researching for a scholarly publication, a class assignment, or just personal interest, keep in mind some of the resources available to you through the St. Mary’s Library and through various digital archives and libraries across the country.
Our Patron Services Librarian, Conrad Helms has an excellent blog post about the new Rosa Parks archival collection at the Library of Congress. We’re also featuring just a few of the many St. Mary’s Library resources on Africa & African Diaspora Studies in our In The Collection feature this week.
Also going on this week is a fantastic BSU-sponsored, student-designed Exhibit in the Boyden Gallery called Expressions of Blackness.
If you’re interested in learning more about Black History Month, take a look at the Library of Congress and all of the amazing documents, photos, and resources available to help bolster your knowledge and understanding of African American History.
The annual library book sale is next week, October 7-8. We will be selling books on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-4, rain or shine outside the entrance to the library. We have books in a range of subjects and movies on DVD. (Sorry, we have no VHS tapes.) This year’s featured collections include mid-20th century popular fiction and cookbooks.
Book Prices are $0.50 for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardcovers.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month and here in St. Mary’s county we celebrate with a library card sign-up swap. For two weeks in September the college library and the public library have a registration swap. Students, faculty and staff at SMCM can sign up for a library card for the St. Mary’s Public Library on campus at the library circulation desk. St. Mary’s County residents can sign up for a SMCM library card at their local branch library.
What do you get with a public library card? Access to COSMOS the gateway to the libraries of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties print and online materials. That’s a lot of popular reading material, newly released movies and online tools like Mángo Languages. Now you can practice Spanish from your bedroom with a St. Mary’s County Public Library Card.
This week the library hosts Trevor Dawes, the current president of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). Trevor has been a strong and vocal advocate for financial literacy and the role librarians can play in helping students become more knowledgeable and more active in controlling their own financial futures. Trevor has partnered with the iOme Challenge initiative to help librarians learn more about how we can support this effort.
I am convinced that library financial literacy is becoming as important for people who use libraries as it is for the librarians and staff who have to spend and manage money. We are using funds supplied by our institutions (and at least partly by tuition dollars) to purchase the materials that we think best support the curricula of the college and also provide outlets for reading, viewing, and listening (and sometimes gaming) that balance all that intense academic work.
Students and faculty are still often surprised to hear that the electronic version of a journal will probably cost us about as much as the print version. And inflation affects everything. Most people don’t think about what it costs to keep a physical book on a shelf once we buy it. If you are a librarian, ask a class (or a group of faculty) what they estimate we spend per year on our online resources. The responses may surprise you. If we purchase an e-book and are unable to make it accessible to more than one user at a time, or through Interlibrary Loan, is it a better “deal” than a physical book which has some, but not all, of the same limitations? Our economic decisions are based on more than just dollars and cents.
Like all departments on campus, the library buys equipment and supplies, pays for equipment leases (yes – the Xerox machine), pays people who work here, and supports the professional development of our staff. And like lots of places these days we do it with less money than we used to. This means making strategic decisions, but also keeping people in mind. It might mean buying a DVD for $14.99 which we know will make people feel good, and spending a much larger amount on a resource that is critical for the success of faculty and students.
The economic landscape is shifting. Colleges and universities are experiencing challenges with enrollment, changes in curriculum, and increases in costs. The more we know about how funds are spent the smarter we will be about the decisions we are faced with. Financial literacy is the key to all of our financial futures.
Trevor A. Dawes is truly a man of the stacks. He served as project coordinator for a library themed calendar, The Men of the Stacks (2012). You should visit this calendar now. It was for a good cause (It Gets Better Project) and it looks like the guys had a lot of fun. (Yes, I own this calendar and yes, it was January for a really long time that year.)
Trevor is the current president of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and an Associate University Librarian at Washington University. He will be on campus next week, March 10th and March 11th. On Monday he will be meeting with students to discuss leadership and on Tuesday with faculty and staff on sustaining excellence in the workplace.
Trevor chose financial literacy as the theme of his presidency and has for many years been interested in leadership and diversity. I first met Trevor at a leadership program in 2002, the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians and he has been leading ever since. Not only does he have a long record with ACRL, he has been a board member of the NJ Library Association and in 2007 was one of Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers.
So stop by the Aldom Lounge and meet Trevor.
Interview: On Leadership with Trevor A. Dawes
Are you a student leader, activist or volunteer? Wondering if you have what it takes to lead after graduation? Ask Trevor.
Monday March 10 at 4:15 PM in the Aldom Lounge
Sustaining Excellence in Libraries
Collaboration, diversity and professional development, they’re not just for libraries. Learn about best practices in libraries and how they can work for your department.
Tuesday March 11 at 10:00 AM in the Aldom Lounge
Posted on behalf of Cheryl Colson.
At one time or another we have all found ourselves reading a review on Facebook, Amazon or Twitter. So to keep up with the trend the staff book club will be posting reviews via a social media network better known as blogging.
Want to blog about your favorite book?
Want to submit a movie review?
Want to read the book of the month?
We want to hear from you, so visit us at the Staff Recommends blog.
September is Library Card Sign-up Month and here in St. Mary’s county we celebrate with a library card sign-up swap. For two weeks in September the college library and the public library do a registration swap. Students, faculty and staff at SMCM can sign up for a library card for the St. Mary’s Public Library on campus at the library circulation desk. St. Mary’s County residents can sign up for a SMCM library card at their local branch library.
What do you get with a public library card? Access to COSMOS the gateway to the libraries of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties print and online materials. That’s a lot of popular reading material, newly released movies and online tools like Mángo Languages. Yes, you too can learn to speak Pirate from your bedroom with a St. Mary’s County Public Library Card.
Thanks to all the readers who posted reviews on our Summer Reading blog. Don’t forget to pick up your prizes!