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The Library's course reserves collections provide readings and other materials that support the instructional requirements of specific courses. Essential to our ability to provide reserve collections is the confident and lawful exercise of legitimate use rights as set forth in the fair use provision, Section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976.

Section 107 Fair Use:

For institutions of higher education, the cardinal portion of the Copyright Act is Section 107 of the Copyright Act, the fair use provision. This section sets forth the factors that must be evaluated in determining whether a particular use, without prior permission, is a fair and, therefore, permitted use. The legitimate and lawful application of fair use rights provides the necessary and Constitutionally envisioned balance between the rights of the copyright holder versus societal and educational interests in the dissemination of information.

Section 107 is as follows:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

All Hunter Library collections--regardless of format--are purchased by the university for the nonprofit, educational use of students and faculty. All library materials are acquired with the understanding that there will be multiple uses of a limited number of copies. The library frequently pays an institutional subscription price for journals, which is many times the individual subscription price, for the privilege of supporting multiple academic users.

Electronic Reserves is an extension of traditional library services and will be provided in a manner that respects fair use rights, the rights of copyright holders, and current copyright law. The electronic copying and scanning of copyright protected works for library reserve service are unsettled areas of the law which may be addressed by courts and/or legislation. Hunter Library will monitor legal developments that may affect the application of fair use standards to Electronic Reserves services to ensure that library services are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the U.S. copyright law.

Copyright Guidelines for Reserves



Although fair use ultimately depends on the specific facts surrounding each proposed use, the following guidelines are intended to provide direction for use of the Hunter Library reserves system.


  1. All materials placed on reserve will be at the initiative of faculty for the non-commercial, educational use of students.
  2. Whenever possible, materials to be copied or scanned for reserve will be purchased by the library.
  3. Longer works, such as complete books or entire web sites, will not be copied or scanned for reserve service. The library will not reproduce materials for the reserve system without written permission from the copyright holder if the library judges that such reproduction would exceed the reasonable limits of fair use.
  4. There will be no charge for access; the charge for copies made by students will be limited to the nominal cost of photocopies or laser prints.
  5. A notice that material may be covered by copyright law will appear on screen in the reserve system, on the first page of a print reserve, and on copies made of reserve readings.
  6. Appropriate citations or attributions to their sources will be included for all reserve materials.
  7. Access to reserves is limited to students, faculty, and staff of the university. Print reserves can be checked out at the library with a valid WCU ID card. Electronic reserves can be accessed online using a valid WCU ID number.
  8. When they are no longer used for reserve services, electronic files will be removed from the electronic reserves system. Print materials will be returned to faculty or to their normal location in the library.


For any questions regarding this policy, call Scottie Kapel at (828) 227-3416 or email her at For general questions about reserves, contact Malti Turnbull at (828) 227-3875 or

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