copies of short stories, essays, etc.

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  • I work at a small academic library. Nobody uses course packets as far I've seen. When students need a copy of short story, what's the best thing to do?

    Put the book on reserve and having them read the story in the library seems okay. But if students or instructors are making lots of copies of short stories or plays it seems like they need permission.

    I just want to have a simple rule on this. If a whole class of students needs to use a poem, short story or play, we need to look into getting permission?

    As far as fair use goes, a short, complete fictional work like a story counts as its own independent entity, right? It's not more okay to make copies becuase it's just a small section of a book? '

    Do short non-fiction works such as essays fall more under fair use because they're not fiction? When does someone need to get permission to make copies?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  • Circular 21 is designed for quick reference for librarians and teachers. You can find a lot of answers there.

    If you put the physical book on reserve you're always fine. Then students can make their own copies.

    If an instructor is handing out copies in the classroom, the classroom copying guidelines apply. But one copy per student is geerally okay, unless they use the same item semester after semester.

    Generally a whole poem, short story, or play can be scanned and put on electronic reserve safely.

    However, what you will run in to is the rule of spontaneity. If you are going to use the same material in subsequent semesters, you ought to get permission.

    For permission, I recommend going directly to the publisher rather than through CCC. It's likely to be cheaper.

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