Six essential copyright facts librarians should know

Lesley Ellen Harris has listed 6 essential copyright facts librarians should know.  They are:

1.  You can summarize an article or book without copyright permission.  There is no copyright protection for ideas, history, facts, or news.

2.  Licenses are like contracts – you can negotiate – so, if you want to license an electronic database or journal but under different terms than those offered, you can try to negotiate different terms.

3.  Provisions that allow reproduction without permission are usually for specific types of libraries.  In Canada, “library provisions” are for a library, archive or museum that is not established or conducted for profit and is not part of an organization that is established or conducted for profit.  This type of library holds a collection of materials that is open to the public or to researchers.  

4.  Fair use/dealing is intentionally ambiguous.  Harris quotes the U.S. copyright office fact shee on fair use as follows:  “The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”

5.  Fair use/dealing applies to all users of content, not just libraries.  The Supreme Court of Canada is quoted by Harris as saying, “research is not limited to non-commercial or private contexts.”  Source:  CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada(SCC 2004).

6.  The duration of copyright varies from country to country.  In Canada, copyright expires 50 years after the death of the author.  In the U.S. this is not the case and you may still need to apply for permissions 50 years after the author’s death.



Ontario Archives

The Ontario Archives site includes images.


A blog concerning Canadian history can be found at:

It provides access to a fee based database, partially accessible to the public.  In it you will find interesting books that have been digitized such as, The Life and Times of Kateri Tekakwitha, The Lily of the Mohawks, 1656 – 1680, by Ellen H. Walworth.   I have not read the book in its entirety but it appears to provide a ‘white’ perspective of the Mohawk peoples at that period historically.  One can only wonder what Kateri would make of it.

Rhetoric & Composition

I have been compiling a list of websites on the topic of Rhetoric & Composition for use on a subject guide for the college.  I’ve decided to list them below.  Some are more appropriate to teaching than to students so I have not included them in my college guide but they are worth keeping for looking into in future.  Here they are:

The following is an excellent site to use as an overview of the topic:

Writing Spaces is an online textbook with several chapters that may be of interest to the instructors for this course.  I have included links to only a few of them here, but would recommend instructors review the text in its entirety to decide what is most appropriate for their course.  See below for links:–composition-as-a-write–critical-thinking-in-college-writing–ten-ways-to-think, designed for use as a textbook in first-year college composition programs.– College Composition and Communication website. The CCC Online Archive is designed primarily as a research tool, an online supplement to the journal College Composition and Communication. University of Texas at Austin, explores how information technologies are changing the ways we produce and consume texts, the ways we argue, and how we can flexibly address these sociotechnical changes.– A refereed online journal devoted to contemporary theories of rhetoric, writing, and culture.– Issues in Writing is a semiannual, refereed journal devoted to the study of writing in science and technology, government, education, business and industry, the arts and humanities, and the professions. – A journal devoted to the teaching of composition and the language arts.*– An international peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality theoretical, empirical, and review papers covering the broad spectrum of writing research.

Journal of Electronic Publishing – A really interesting ejournal on publishing ejournals. – A portal to sites relevant to the field of rhetoric and composition., The Forest of Rhetoric by Dr. Gideon Burton, Brigham Young University., writing at Colorado State University, counsil of writing program administrators, a consortium for the study of writing in college., the national writing project based in the United States.  You can search this site for additional resources on rhetoric., a clearinghouse of resources on writing compiled by Colorado State University., research on activity devoted to student writing., International Writing Centers Association, The European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing., The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) supports and promotes the teaching and study of college composition and communication., a site for professional and personal conversations on pedagogy, curriculum, administration, and social issues affecting basic writing., National Council of Teachers of English., a networked journal and digital community for writers and teachers of writing.


Information Literacy and Eli Pariser’s TED talk

This TED talk by Eli Pariser about “filter bubbles” is a nice way to introduce students to some of the issues around using the internet for research.  It clearly articulates the invisible algorithmic editing that is used to personalize the results of web searches and debunks the myth of the web as providing open access to the world of information.

See additional clips on Andy Burkhardt’s blog.

NFB’s list of sites to watch films online for free

Copyright – current info.

Sharon Wang at Osgoode Library has produced this informative guide to copyright:

Art & Image Resources Available Through Subscription Databases

The following subscription databases house art and image resources.  There may be others as well, but these are those that are available in the college library at which I am currently employed.  I decided to include this list here because I discovered that my web-guide on this topic was not available when I went to it and I thought it was lost.  Now that it is available again, I thought I should have some back-up of this information.  Art and image resources available through the web have been listed on this blog earlier.  You cannot access the databases here without a paid subscription.

Art Full Text (Wilson): For reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals. Covers folk art, Non-Western Art, Painting, Photography, Pottery, and Sculpture, among other subjects.

Art Museum Image Gallery (Wilson):  Drawing on the collections of distinguished museums around the world, the content of Art Museum Image Gallery is rights-cleared for use in educational settings, so they can be employed liberally in class lectures, assignments, and academic presentations.

ArtStor: Offers hundreds of thousands of images from all eras and cultures. Click on the orange “Go” button to begin searching. Enter your search term and double click on any image that interests you in order to enlarge it.

Berg Fashion LibraryThis is the first online resource to provide access to interdisciplinary and integrated text, image, and journal content on world dress and fashion and will be useful to anyone researching or studying fashion, anthropology, art history, history, museum studies, and cultural studies.

The Canadian Reference Centre (EBSCO): Do a basic search. Type in what you’re looking for (for example, ferns), then limit your search by selecting one of the following: black and white photograph; color photograph; diagram, or; illustration. Double click on the image that looks interesting to you in order to enlarge it.

Cinema Image GalleryThis unique database features an unparalleled range of pictures, posters, video clips, and other material from around the world of film and television from the late 19th century to the present day.

Electric Library (Proquest): Do a Basic Search. Enter your search term and de-select all categories except pictures.

Grove Dictionary of Art Online:  Has images of artistic works including paintings, sculptures, carvings, architecture, and even antiques. Click on “images”, and search through the alphabetical listing or enter your search term and click search. This database is best used to find images of the works of the great masters. Just enter their last name as your search term.

Humanities International Complete : Do a basic search.  You can limit your search to bring back results that include images. You can further limit your results to maps, colour or black and white photos, diagrams etc..

Why My Library Matters to Me

The Toronto Public Library is running a contest called “Why My Library Matters to Me” as one way of encouraging people to speak out about the role of public libraries in their lives and give them an opportunity to do their part to help save TPL from funding cutbacks.  Enter the contest to win lunch with one of Toronto’s most celebrated authors.   You can get more information from their site at:

Good luck!

Lis Vendor Information

The following wiki was set up by Sarah Glassmeyer: