This June, I went to (not so) sunny San Diego to complete a series of courses for a Certificate in Copyright Management from the Special Libraries Association. These eight courses, taken over three years, cover all aspects of copyright, including national and international law, information for authors, and digital and social media issues. Copyright has become an increasingly important – and complicated – issue, especially relevant to us at Davidson as we begin to tackle digital studies, an institutional repository, and MOOCs. This certificate will help me to support these initiatives and other campus work; for instance, I can help with locating public domain materials, securing permissions, and negotiating author agreements.
The classes in San Diego were a great opportunity to meet people I had already met online. I was one of only a handful of people from academic libraries; most of the participants worked for corporations. The most striking difference to me was how much more free we are to use copyrighted materials in academic libraries, thanks to educational exemptions and fair use. Many of the others in the certificate program are required to secure permission for every copyrighted item used in any aspect of their work. Copyright can be frustrating, but at least we have some flexibility here at Davidson.
Another bonus to my time in San Diego? Copyright cupcakes!
Want to learn more about copyright on campus? Check out our copyright guide.