(14 Apr 2022) During the COVID-19 pandemic, librarians in EIFL partner countries began to alert EIFL about problems providing access to educational resources during lockdowns, in particular much needed textbooks. For printed materials in the library’s collection, there are often no licensed electronic versions available, especially for textbooks and other materials in local languages. In this situation, copyright law determines what librarians can and cannot do to alleviate the situation.
EIFL has put together a tip sheet on the steps to take, from a copyright perspective, to guide librarians in emergency situations when institutions are forced to close, for example, due to extreme weather, conflict, or pandemics. There are also links to resources and further information.
If the copyright law does not allow the library to supply a digital copy, unfortunately there often isn’t a quick fix. However, forewarned is forearmed and we hope that the tip sheet will encourage librarians to check their copyright law, and to initiate any national copyright law reforms that are needed to support access to resources for online education now and in any future emergency situations.
The tip sheet can be downloaded here.
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