Fair use, Library Instruction, and First-year Students

Association of Research Libraries
Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week- 22-26 February 2016

“Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual celebration of the doctrine of fair use and fair dealing. It celebrates the important role fair use plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US.” – Association of Research Libraries

In this series, bloggers from within the libraries and from the UA campus community talk about Fair Use, and how it applies to our lives as citizens and scholars.

The Framework for Information Literacy states that “Scholarship is a Conversation– Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.” Without the fundamental right of fair use, the scholarly conversation would be impeded, and student engagement with new and unfamiliar ideas would be stymied. Through library instruction, we have the opportunity to facilitate a student’s engagement in the scholarly conversation, and to encourage fair use of information- the analysis of a visual artifact, the use of a quote as evidence, and even the provision of information through the libraries’ collections– in order to provide the environment and the resources for a rich and deep learning experience.

Some of the many skills we hope to teach our students during their college experience are finding, evaluating, and using sources to support their research. While students have had some experience with academic writing and research in their high school experience, many of the skills and expectations introduced to them in these first two semesters are completely different from anything that they’ve done before. Through our  partnership with First-year Writing, the University Libraries help to educate new students in these very skills, which enable them to exercise their fundamental right of fair use. From newspaper articles, to personal blogs, to a student taking their first steps in engaging in the scholarship in their chosen discipline, librarians partnering with first-year writing instructors to teach students to engage with sources and keep track of their research. Engagement through fair use comes in the form of summary, paraphrase, and quotation, and is an integral part of teaching source engagement. As students move on to life after graduation, they retain these skills, allowing them to participate as active citizens in a world filled with information.

2 thoughts on “Fair use, Library Instruction, and First-year Students

  1. Pingback: Roundup from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2016 | Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week

  2. Pingback: Roundup from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2016 | ARL Policy Notes

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