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Triangle Research Libraries to Develop Copyright Institute


Chapel Hill, NC – Copyright experts from four universities in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina are piloting a program to help librarians at institutions with limited resources to develop expertise in handling complex copyright issues.

The Library Copyright Institute will be held in summer 2019 at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University and will be open to librarians from across the Southeast. To reduce barriers to participation, it will be offered at no cost to participants.

The institute is a collaboration of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN). It is being developed by library copyright experts at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Academic libraries collect and manage more copyrighted works than almost any other group of institutions in the world,” said David Hansen, Duke University’s Associate University Librarian for Research, Collections & Scholarly Communications and Co-PI on the project. “Yet most librarians do not have adequate copyright training to answer questions by faculty, students, and the broader community about how those works can be used.”

The Library Copyright Institute leverages the knowledge, experience, and education of leading library copyright experts to raise the level of copyright expertise across U.S. libraries, especially at institutions who are not able to support a dedicated staff member devoted to copyright.

The institute will feature a three-day curriculum that offers an immersive grounding in copyright fundamentals, limitations, and exceptions such as fair use, as well as copyright’s application to librarianship. It will conclude with a set of daylong capstone trainings for specific communities within the profession such as Special Collections & Archives, Instruction & Public Service, and Administration & Policy Development.

The overarching goal is to ensure that librarians serving a broad and diverse set of researchers have the tools they need to effectively handle the copyright issues they encounter. Librarians at all institutions (and their users) should be able to confidently apply fair use, understand licenses, and assess public domain status.

The program may serve as a model for future Institutes, including a portable curriculum and workshop guide so that the Library Copyright Institute can be hosted in other regions.

The Library Copyright Institute was made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS Grant RE‐87‐18‐0081‐18).


The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) is a collaborative organization of Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, visit