TEACH Act Responsibilities for Librarians

Libraries manage, store and disseminate many information resources for campus communities in support of the university's curriculum. Jim Dan Hill Library's information resources are a combination of print and electronic formats. Jim Dan Hill Library will send print books and copies of articles (subject to U.S. copyright law) to UW-Superior distance learners who request materials. UW-Superior distance learners can request books and articles through the Interlibrary Loan page. In recent years, the library has acquired more full text information through licensed databases, ejournals and ebooks. Additional library services to distance students include reserve and interlibrary loan services.

Negotiators of Licenses for Campus Databases and Other E-resources

Jim Dan Hill Library negotiates licenses for most of its online databases, ejournals, and ebooks. Students may directly access the full text or full content of an article or book by going through licensed databases. Off-campus students have to log into the campus network proxy before they can access the full text or full content. UW-Superior distance faculty can direct students to full text information in licensed databases without having to obtain copyright permission.

Library Reserve Services

Jim Dan Hill Library offers print and electronic reserve service where faculty members can place books and articles on reserve for use by their students. The library uses the fair use portion of the copyright law when placing items that don't have copyright permission on reserve. This usually means that limited amounts of information may be placed on reserve for limited amounts of time. Students access electronic copies through the library's Reserves page. Students can view the full content of images that have been placed on electronic reserve after first logging into the reserve system.

Library Interlibrary Loan Services

Jim Dan Hill Library offers an interlibrary loan service where books and articles that are not owned by the library are obtained from other libraries. UW-Superior distance learners should request all interlibrary loan items through Jim Dan Hill Library's Interlibrary Loan page. Books and other materials are sent to the Library before being sent to the user. Articles are often copied and sent directly to the user via their campus email (subject to the fair use portion of U.S. copyright law). If the specific article does not fall within the library's interpretation of copyright law, the library will contact the user to determine if we should attempt to purchase the item from a document delivery company. The user is responsible for any charges. In this case, copyright royalties are paid to the legal copyright owner and fair use is not used.

Fair Use Provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law

If digitization and dissemination of certain information is not covered by the TEACH Act, faculty members may sometimes use the fair use provisions of the copyright law to use portions of copyrighted material in their classes. Fair use allows for the legal copying, digitalization and dissemination of limited amounts of material if no copyright permission has been obtained.

The U.S. copyright law is open to interpretation and there is no absolute "safe" amount of material that can be copied and disseminated. Each case or situation stands alone where the four fair use factors (purpose, nature, amount, and effect) must be weighed together to determine if the use of a copyrighted work is fair use or whether copyright law has been violated.