Archive for November, 2010

Rules of Library Conduct

Scott Douglas writes: “It’s common in the library for me to approach a person doing something that most human beings would consider inappropriate library behavior (such as spitting sunflower seeds on the floor) and ask them to stop. The response is frequently not ‘Okay, sorry,’ but rather, ‘Where does it say that?’ It is for this reason that the rules of conduct at most public libraries around the country are some of the strangest you’ll ever see.

For some really amusing and strange rules posted in libraries around the country, see http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/librarian/38.html


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Libraries and Netflix

Many libraries – mostly public, but a growing number of academic  libraries – are signing up for a Netflix account. What could be better? Having access on demand to thousands of DVDs that no academic library could afford to buy, or have room to shelve, seems like a wonderful idea. But the truth is, these accounts violate the terms of service with the company. TOS, or terms of service, are those pesky little boxes of information that most of us just click “Accept” and move on without reading the fine print.

While Netflix has not taken any action against libraries that have these accounts, it is probably only a matter of time before they ultimately shut these off.

For complete information, see the September 18 article in the Chronicle of  Higher Education.

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We are often asked why the WSU Library doesn’t take our older VHS tapes and convert them all to DVD format. The answer is that it would be a violation of the U.S. Copyright Law to do so. Without the express permission of the copyright holder (the company that produced the video) it is not “fair use” as defined in Section 107 of the Copyright Code, and it does not qualify as lawful reproduction under Section 108 of the Copyright Code.

For a further explanation of this issue see http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/ask-ala-librarian/vhs-dvd .

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