ILL of book to put on academic reserve

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  • I have an adjunct instructor who requesting 9 books to be placed on ILL. We own one in paper and 2 as ebooks. He is requesting that we interlibrary loan the remainder and place them on reserve for about one month. (And he is only giving us 2 weeks to obtain them and process if we decide to borrow them.) This is the second time he has requested these titles (last spring semester). All titles are still in print. So my feeling is that borrowing them the first time was ok but now he should have asked the library to purchase the titles since he knew he was going to want them on reserve.

    My question: Do we go ahead and borrow the books? Or do I tell him that it is a violation of copyright or at least in the gray area and we must purchase them. There is no guarantee with either solution in our obtaining the titles in a timely fashion to have them ready for his students.

    Any thought and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Don't do it. (ILL of book to put on academic reserve)

    ILL is an agreement between libraries for one patron to borrow a book at a time. It also is extremely questionable to use another library's materials for a course at your institution.

    Purchase the books that your instructors need to teach at your institution. This makes your library better and more valuable to your college/university.

    I am in charge of both ILL and Reserves at my small college. I understand how difficult it is to tell instructors no, so I recommend you just order the books.
  • I don't think you can say it is a violation of copyright with 100% certainty (mainly because IMHO that's difficult to do unless you're a judge preciding in a copyright trial). But the situation seems to suggest that you need to purchase them, in my opinion.

    Pros: If you are using ILL for physical materials, and not reproducing this materials, that is probably allowable in itself (first sale). The original library loses access to the item. ILL is also based on the section 108 reproduction exemption. One of the specific uses mentioned is scholarship. This would probably qualify as scholarship.

    Cons: Now, ILL is not supposed to harm the market by displacing sales. If you're getting requests from semester to semester, that's a good indication that you might want to purchase the books. Another thing is that in this particular case the instructor wants the item on reserves- meaning that the item is available to him and everyone involved in his course. That may also suggests potential harm to the market.

    The existence of library reserves is usually a fair use argument, and possibly an education multiple-copy argument. And there are no cut and dry rules, only guidelines. Some libraries only allow one academic term, and others allow several academic terms.

    The fair use argument for reserves is stronger when the library has a lawful copy of the book. It's also stronger when only a portion of the book is put on reserve. Given these weaknesses to the fair use arguments, I think that all of these factors suggest the library may want to purchase the books.
  • I have decided to go ahead and purchase the books for the Library. (All are still available except 1 which has been "retired as an ebook" according to the supplier.

    I really appreciate the responses as it confirmed my feelings on this matter.

    This site has been very information and I thank you.


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