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Course Reserves : Copying in the Classroom

All about Course Reserves

Important Numbers

Circulation:  860-832-3404

Interlibrary Loan:  860-832-3408

Course Reserves:  860-832-3406

Stacks Maintenance: 860-832-3402

Guidelines for Classroom Copying

The following guidelines for photocopies are based on The Federal Copyright Law of 1976; The Fair Use Doctrine, Title 17; H.R. 2223, The Copyright Revision Bill; and the Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use developed by The American Library Association (ALA) Legislation Committee, Copyright Subcommittee and legal counsel, The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Copyright Committee and The Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

The following items are considered fair use for one semester only. Repetitive copying (for materials in multiple courses or successive years) will require permission from the copyright owner.

1.      Brevity:

  • A single chapter of a book
  • A newspaper or periodical article
  • A short story, essay, or short poem

 In prose this is considered one complete article, story or essay of less than 2500 words; or an excerpt of no more than 10% of a work. In poetry, brevity is considered a complete poem of 250 words or less, or an excerpt of less than 250 words.

 2.      Spontaneity:

  • The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual instructor.
  • This inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

 3.      Cumulative Effect:

The copying of the material is for only one course. In addition, no more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one academic term. Moreover the guideline specifies that there shall be no more than nine instances of multiple copying for one course during an academic year.



  • Materials more than 75 years old.
  • Most U.S. Government documents
  • Works without copyright notice that were first published before January 1, 1978

Kimberly Farrington

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Kim Farrington
Access Services Librarian
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