Trexler Library Copyright Compliance Policy and Procedures

Copyright Compliance Policy

Policy Statement

In addition to complying with the Muhlenberg College Copyright Policy, Trexler Library adheres to a more specific policy with regard to interlibrary loan and reserves.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is


Trexler Library attempts to remain within the following guidelines:


For guidelines from the American Library Association on photocopying for course reserves in general, visit

For electronic reserves, the library’s policy is based on, but not limited to, the CONFU Electronic Reserve Guidelines available at, specifically:

A. Scope of material:

    1. In accordance with fair use (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act), electronic reserve systems may include copyrighted materials at the request of a course instructor.
    2. Electronic reserve systems may include short items (such as an article from a journal, a chapter from a book or conference proceedings, or a poem from a collected work) or excerpts from longer items. As a rule, the library seeks permission for excerpts exceeding more than 10 percent of a longer work, (i.e. 10 percent of a book). In the event an instructor wishes to post more than this amount, permission will customarily be sought, or an alternative point of access recommended, such as a purchased coursepack.
    3. Personal rental videos will not be accepted as reserve items, nor will homemade copies of any copyrighted DVDs, videos, or broadcasts—other than short clips of materials already owned by the instructor or, preferably, by library (the library will seek to acquire a copy for their own collection when possible, at the second semester’s use). An exception may be made when a vendor cannot be located for the material. Exceptions will not be made when a vendor explicitly refuses access. Streaming of music and videos will originate from a legally obtained copy. The library will accept AV clips in total not to exceed 10 percent of an entire copyrighted work per course, unless permission is sought from the copyright owner. An exception will be made for Music faculty, per Music Library Association Guidelines:
    4. Digitization of slides may occur if the digital image is not available commercially at a fair price. Digitization of images from books can occur if less than 10 percent of the number of images in the book.
    5. E-reserves should typically serve as a supplement to purchased textbooks or coursepacks. As such, the total amount of material included in electronic reserve systems for a specific course as a matter of fair use should be small in proportion to the total assigned reading for a particular course, except in the event that core readings are not readily available for purchase.
    6. In general, the library does not seek permission for copyrighted materials for which it has obtained license to distribute, such as online journal articles from databases.

B. Notice and attributions:

C. Access and use:

    1. Electronic reserve systems should be structured to limit access to students registered in the course for which the items have been placed on reserve, and to instructors and staff responsible for the course or the electronic system.
    2. The appropriate methods for limiting access will depend on available technology. Solely to suggest and not to prescribe options for implementation, possible methods for limiting access may include one or more of the following or other appropriate methods:
      1. individual password controls or verification of a student's registration status; or
      2. password system for each class; or
      3. retrieval of works by course number or instructor name, but not by author or title of the work; or
      4. access limited to workstations that are ordinarily used by, or are accessible to, only enrolled students or appropriate staff or faculty.
    3. Students should not be charged specifically or directly for access to electronic reserve systems

D. Storage and reuse:

    1. At the point of 2nd semester’s use by the same instructor for the same course, the library will seek to lawfully obtain an original (usually purchased) copy of the work for its permanent collection. This original can be placed on print reserves or streamed in its entirety, or an electronic copy of the original can be placed on reserve adhering to the portions described above. In the event that an original copy cannot be obtained, copyright permission will be sought.
    2. Material may be retained in electronic form while permission is being sought or until the next academic term in which the material might be used, but in no event for more than three calendar years, including the year in which the materials are last used. A record will be maintained of correspondence in seeking permission.
    3. Access to the files shall be disabled at the completion of the course, but the files may be stored for future re-use. Short-term access to materials included on electronic reserve systems in previous academic terms may be provided to students who have not completed the course.

Interlibrary Loan

With regard to interlibrary loan, the library strives to follow CONTU guidelines on photocopying for purposes of interlibrary loan, available at

Copyright Compliance Procedures

For more information on copyright, contact the library’s Coordinator of Scholarly Communication, x3602 or For legal advice, contact the college’s legal counsel through the Dean of Faculty.