CODE OF BEST PRACTICES IN FAIR USE FOR ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH LIBRARIES
• Subject to the considerations outlined above, a special collection should be
digitized in its entirety, and presented as a cohesive collection whenever possible.
• Adding criticism, commentary, rich metadata, and other additional value and
context to the collection will strengthen the fair use case.
• The fair use case will be stronger when the availability of the material is
appropriately publicized to scholars in the ﬁeld and other persons likely to be
FIVE: REPRODUCING MATERIAL FOR USE BY DISABLED STUDENTS,
FACULTY, STAFF, AND OTHER APPROPRIATE USERS
Print-disabled academic and research library patrons require access to readable text
in order to function as full members of an academic community; likewise, hearing-
disabled patrons require captioned audiovisual materials, while those with physical
disabilities may require the electronic delivery of materials outside the library setting.
Relatively new electronic technologies make these kinds of accommodations possible
at relatively low cost. True accommodation for these patrons means access to any
materials in the library’s collection for any reason the patron may have (required
reading, voluntary study, or recreation), i.e., access that is equivalent to the access
afforded to students without disabilities. In addition to moral and mission-related
imperatives to serve all patrons, there are also legal obligations to accommodate
scholars and researchers with diverse needs. Although Section 121 of the Copyright
Act authorizes the reproduction of copyrighted materials to meet these needs under
some circumstances, there is continued controversy over its exact scope. Some
stakeholders insist, however unreasonably, that Section 121 does not cover academic
libraries’ efforts to provide accessible materials to print-disabled members of a college
or university community. No speciﬁc exception to copyright even arguably addresses
the needs of patrons with disabilities related to media other than print.
Making library materials accessible serves the goals of copyright, not to mention
the goals of a just and inclusive society, and has no negative consequence for rights
holders who have not entered the market to serve these users. Such uses add value
to a work by making it available to communities that would otherwise be excluded,