The ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities released this report to bring much-needed attention to the challenges of print-disabled individuals who are seeking access to both print and digital library products and services. The report contains recommendations for research libraries to make information accessible to their full range of diverse users equitably. ARL believes that research libraries are poised to provide critical direction—along with academic leadership, IT, and disability services—on the service and technology planning, procurement, and licensing necessary to create a fully accessible information environment.
Does the approach of creating a code of best practices, anchored in professional practice, actually work to expand the utility of fair use? What has happened to others who used codes of best practices to gain access to their rights?
This topic is discussed at length in Aufderheide and Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use (University of Chicago Press, 2011), but some specific examples include:
Does your university offer intellectual property education to incoming students, or have an academic integrity policy that addresses copyright issues? These are important areas where librarians can be of service in offering balanced information about copyright and fair use.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries suggests at various points that librarians consider the use of appropriate “technical protection measures” when making digitized materials available on-line, as a way of bolstering their fair use claims. Many libraries already employ such measures as a risk-management strategy.
When teachers bring Stacey, a librarian at a Midwestern private university, their course materials to upload on the university’s e-reserves system, she always checks to make sure that the course material has not been uploaded before—or at least, not in the last three years. If it’s fresh material, and it’s only a small fraction of the original work, she’s pretty sure that uploading it for the students to study could be considered a “fair use.” If it has been uploaded before, she tries to license the material, or have the professor find a substitute that the professor hasn’t used before. She knows that at some universities, e-reserves policies are more liberal, but her institution can’t afford a legal challenge, so she likes to err on the conservative side. After all, you can’t be too careful.
The Fifth Principle in the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries is entitled "Reproducing material for use by disabled students, faculty, staff, and other appropriate users." It describes in some detail the circumstances in which making and providing copies of collection materials in formats that are accessible to persons with disabilities constitutes fair use, as well as certain limitations to which that general principle is subject.
This webcast from Dec. 11, 2012, provides an overview of the balanced scorecard for research libraries. The webcast covers the strategic aspects of the scorecard, the tool's development, objectives and goals for its implementation, promoting its purpose, analyzing results, and creating improvement strategies. Presenters include Martha Kyrillidou (ARL), Mark Cutler (Ascendant Strategy Management Group), Rachel Besara (Florida State University), Michelle Demeter (Florida State University), Mary McConnell (University of Calgary), Nina Servizzi (New York University), Gina Midlik (Case Western Reserve University), and Vivian Lewis (McMaster University).