OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 9:00am - 9:25am
OER, Copyright, & Faculty: Are Academic Librarians Qualified to Support this Triptych?

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As a profession, academic librarians are accustomed to collaborating with faculty and assisting them with locating quality content for their courses and their own scholarly endeavors. Librarians have also been leaders in the open access movement, advocating for faculty to publish in green or gold standard academic journals, which foster the open sharing of scholarly information. It is logical, therefore, that this group of professions is being called upon to assist in the navigation of these new(ish) open waters of locating, evaluating and creating OER. A significant challenge exists, however; how are librarians being educated and supported (or not) to successfully lead faculty through the creation and use of OER with respect to copyright?

Copyright infringement is a serious crime, and many academics have a distorted misconception that all educational use is fair use, when in fact, it is not. While academic librarians are taking on additional responsibilities to support and endorse its faculty as consumers and creators of OER, are they actually qualified to do so without formal copyright training and support? Many universities lack institutional copyright policies, which further leaves librarians in the dark with no clear guidelines other than their own interpretation of the law. Even for the few individuals of whom have had some level of training in copyright, navigating and applying the law when assisting faculty with OER can be a daunting, stressful, and labor-intensive task.

This presentation will touch on the limited literature, discuss real examples of librarians struggling to navigate copyright law when working with faculty, and offer some suggestions for academic librarians to consider and take back to their own institutions. Most importantly, I hope to spark dialogue amongst participants to raise awareness of this lack of support and training academic librarians receive from their institutions who are starting to heavily promote the use of OER.

Thursday October 12, 2017 9:00am - 9:25am PDT