fair use of book reviews and annotations (SLJ, Booklist, Follett)

← Return to forum

  • Question 1:

    For library school, I am creating an "opening day" core collection of 200 titles using the Titlewave tool from Follett Library Resources, Inc. Titlewave gives users the option to print or email collection lists in annotated format. I assume that the annotations are copyrighted by Follett Library Resources. Is it considered fair use to share these annotations with my fellow MSLIS students and my professor within the confines of a graduate school assignment, as long as they are properly cited?

    Question 2:

    As a public school librarian, will it be considered fair use for me to publicly post (within my library facility) copyrighted book reviews and/or annotations from sources such as SLJ, Booklist, YALSA, VOYA, etc? Is it fair use if I print and share these reviews/annotations with faculty, students, and administration in my school building, as long as I cite them properly and use them for the sole purpose of educating members of my community: i.e. announcing new titles in my collection or publishing summer reading lists?

    The only fair use criterion that troubles me is (#3) "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole." I plan to use the entire book review or annotation, not a portion of it. Can this still be considered fair use?

    Thank you in advance for your advice,
  • Right now, we're entirely voluntary, so answering questions might take longer than it used to because of the time of year.
    For fair use, you'll need to make a fair use assessment. Citation doesn't necessarily protect you, but you can include that in your fair use argument. However, I'm not familiar with Titlewave. Titlewave might have terms of use associated with it, and that's the first place I'd look.

    For your second question, again, it's hard to say whether or not its fair use. You can use an entire work and still be fair use, but that does greatly weaken the fair use argument. If your resource is taking the market from the original, its less likely to be a fair use. Were I in your situation, I'd sit down and document it and then weigh the risk. If it's Booklist, VOYA, etc., I'd see if they have something in their terms that reflects this type of use, and maybe write to them to ask how they consider it.
  • Dear COvalle,

    Thanks very much for your reply, and I apologize for being impatient. I ended up receiving permission from Tilewave customer service, and I will certainly contact Booklist, VOYA, etc. when I have my own library to ask about their policies on this matter.


Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.

← Return to forum