Rational risk management

April 2nd, 2012

The  recent event at Columbia U., “Standards & Strategies for Fair Use Decisions Inside Libraries & Universities” was excellent and well attended. Much talk about the new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries ensued. Here is a likewise excellent summary. Therein, ARL‘s Brandon Butler is quoted as saying, “The goal of this document, in some sense, is to make risk management rational, to take some of the fear out and put a real understanding of how fair use can reduce the risk involved in projects.”

We cannot emphasize enough what an important and useful document this Code is, and we encourage you to read it, use it, share it as much as possible. It is not just for use by librarians – it’s useful to every member of an academic community. In an ideal world, content users will not simply ask librarians, “Can I do this?” but will, instead, learn about the concept of fair use, thereby empowering themselves to be able to make rational decisions at those inevitable and frequent moments of uncertainty. And please don’t forget about our committee’s resource, too, where we invite you to share your questions and concerns.

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