Publication Date

2013-11-27

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Copyright law is an increasingly important aspect of managing an academic library. This study investigated the copyright knowledge level of academic library deans and directors and their perceptions of how it affects their abilities to oversee the development and enforcement of copyright-related library policies. The perceived adequacy of the copyright training currently available in library schools was also examined. METHODS A random sample of academic library deans and directors was asked to complete a web-based survey articulating their level of copyright knowledge and perceptions associated with how they are able to apply it toward their work with policies. RESULTS Respondents scored a mean of 77.49% on ten questions of basic copyright law concepts. A majority of deans and directors indicated they believe their knowledge, as well as that of those working under their supervision, is adequate to make informed decisions. However, almost 90% of the respondents were either neutral or disagreed that library school programs are providing adequate training in copyright law to academic librarians. DISCUSSION The evidence from this study reveals that library deans and directors have a basic knowledge of copyright law concepts; however, it is unclear as to whether their understanding is sufficient to provide a sound basis for developing and sustaining operational policies and strategic directions for their libraries. It is clear that participants acknowledged the need for more training in copyright law as part of basic preparation for librarianship. CONCLUSION Deans and directors of academic libraries have a working knowledge of copyright law but more training is needed to provide library professionals with the tools necessary to carry out the work of effectively managing collections and services, especially in this new and emerging digital environment.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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