Understanding Librarians' experiences of copyright


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Presentation at ECIL 2016 in Prague on 11th October 2016 on a phenomenographic study of UK library and information professionals

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  • This paper reports on research to investigate the ‘copyright literacy’ of librarians in the UK (Morrison and Secker, 2015). The study followed reform of copyright legislation in the UK in 2014. An understanding of copyright and licensing issues is increasingly seen as part of digital and information literacy support, with librarians being called upon to provide advice on a range of copyright issues. For example those related to open access and open education.
    This study was the largest in the UK, receiving over 600 responses, although an earlier study (Oppenheim and Woodward, 2004) surveyed a small population of higher education librarians. It highlighted gaps in knowledge, identified training requirements in the sector and provided comparative data to other countries participating in the survey. This research originated from a project funded by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (Todorova, 2014). The UK survey was part of a second data collection phase, extending the survey to ten further countries
    The findings suggest that levels of knowledge about copyright across the sector is mixed and that copyright is a small part of many information professionals’ roles. Consequently many respondents expressed a desire to develop their knowledge in this field. Encouragingly 63% of respondents said that their institution had a copyright policy and 64% said they had a named individual dealing with copyright queries. Over 93% of all respondents believed copyright should be included in the professional training and education of librarians and other cultural heritage sector professionals. UK responses compared favourably to other countries, suggesting a greater level of copyright knowledge and confidence.
    The survey suggested LIS qualifications and CPD need to address a greater range of topics related to copyright and IPR. The qualitative data also suggested that copyright is a source of anxiety for many librarians and often responsibility for the topic lies with one individual within an organization. The authors will share initial findings from their recent research to collect additional qualitative data to help explore the source of this anxiety. This is situated in a discussion of copyright as a key component of information literacy and in turn how information literacy, and copyright literacy requires librarians to move away from a role of neutral conduit to critical partner in a user’s information journey (Elmbourg, 2004). The authors offer some thoughts about why copyright education has remained largely peripheral to information literacy support offered by libraries and information services. Finally, they will share their ideas about a games based approach to copyright education and their Copyright Literacy campaign, which aims to tackle issues around anxiety and confidence and to work to embed copyright more fully into information and digital literacy programmes.
  • Jane to slide 3


    Introduction slides 1-3 Jane – 5 mins

    Play your cards right slides 4-21 – Chris ( 12 mins?)

    Survey findings 22-30 – Jane (10 mins)

    Phenomenography – 31-33 – Jane (5 mins)

    Phenomenography and parallels to IL – 34-36 – Chris (5 mins)

    Wrap up with what we are doing – 37-40 Chris and Jane (3 mins)
  • Chris – but Jane chip in if need be.
  • Caveat that we are at an early stage of the data analysis – 3 focus groups
    We haven’t developed the categories of description or the outcome space yet – so watch this space
  • Chris to add image that sums up phenomenography in a single image.
  • This are the categories as they are emerging at the moment
  • (Thus it requires an expert – maybe a non-librarian, with specialist knowledge)
    Copyright is a source of fear and anxiety
    Copyright is seen as conflicting with the ideology of librarianship / and the sharing of information and knowledge
    Copyright is seen as an imposition / not taught to librarians
    Copyright is seen as a source of conflict where there are conflicting views about what you should do in any given situation especially given what technology allows
    Copyright is seen as risky due to unknown consequences of ‘getting it wrong’
    Copyright ‘rules’ are multi-layered, complex, changing and difficult to navigate – again so fear of ‘getting it wrong.’
    Copyright is an area where librarians have less confidence
  • Copyright is seen as requiring access to specialist, privileged knowledge (the librarian acts as gatekeeper or gateway  – providing access to specialist knowledge) How about copyright knowledge of librarians is bounded and requires the expertise of a specialist ie a copyright officer?
    2.1Copyright needs to be understood in the context in which you work 
    Copyright queries vary in their nature and frequency – complex queries require an investment of time and effort and robust evidence.
    Your perception of your copyright expertise relates to role you are playing – user facing / back room support / front line vs second line support. 
    Librarians have more knowledge than everyone else (reluctantly). Stakes are higher as potentially have to ‘get it right’ and librarians take on a role of having to sanction / warranting other people’s behaviour 
    Copyright is written in a legal code and often not intended for librarians and practitioners to interpret
    Knowing where the information you need (case law and legislation) requires specialist knowledge / a specialist advisor
    There are some unwritten rules.
    Copyright causes some people to conceal what they are doing from others / lack of honesty if they don’t know the rules.
    There is a growing need to build up your own knowledge base all the time and copyright is constantly changing
      Again this ties in nicely with the dimensions of variation
     Again it’s fitting very nicely with the role in terms of the dimensions of variation
  • Copyright is seen as something fixed  that requires effective interpretation and  communication to achieve behavioural change   (the messenger who passes the message on to people) 
    Copyright is an attempt to change other people’s behaviour through education (they will see the light!)
    Ability to simplify and convey difficult concepts in plain English
    Empathy to cover difficult issues / also may need to communicate bad news / managing expectations / communicating the big picture
    Seeing copyright from all angles – rights holder and person wanting to use content
    Equity vs equality (this is about the core ideology of librarianship – maybe move to category 1 – need to check when we return to the data?)
    Copyright rules means people can’t always get what they want. Expertise means the user has to obey the rules.
       Now wondering if ‘fixed’ is the right term. Perhaps ‘knowable’ or ‘containable’? I think it’s about it being something that’s already been worked out and makes sense and that the interpretation just needs to be uncovered rather than co-created.
  • Category 4: Copyright is an opportunity for negotiation, collaboration and co-construction of understanding (the networker / connector / teacher as facilitator who sees it in terms of support from the community and institution)
    The specialist support has a shared responsibility for co-creation with the information seeker / person with the copyright query
    Support within the LIS community / sharing examples with others all contribute to good practice in copyright education and support (particularly when things seem ambiguous or contradictory)
    Within your organization / Copyright Community of Practice is about building a consensus and a shared culture
    Support from senior management to make informed decisions about risk and develop appropriate policies.
    Going and meeting rightsholders organisations – Hug a rightsholder
    Knowing about copyright is empowering – the user makes the ultimate decision but with more information
    Librarians are involved in the conversation from the outset, not called in to fix copyright problems late in the process.
  • The role of the librarian (this is about their perceived role from freedom fighter, to warranter or sanctioner or others behaviour, to messenger, advisor, teacher)
    The level of knowledge the librarian has about copyright from expert to novice which is related to their job and frequency of dealing with it (teaching support, research support, archives deal with © more?)
    Status and influence - Those with a lower level of responsibility feel less empowered to address the conflicts they feel which relates to the concept of risks vs rules. Those with a higher level of responsibility feel more empowered to address this but have to struggle against institutional inertia.
    The ideology of the librarian towards copyright: is it protecting creativity and innovation or stifling innovation and research?
    The audience – who is the librarian dealing with? Issues such as status, gender are all relevant to how the librarian feels about copyright in any given interaction.
    The context of the interaction   – copyright in the library world is almost always an interaction with a someone else who wants to do something, is asking for advice, or using a library service or resource. How this interaction takes place: face to face, verbal, written, one to one or one to many, synchronous or asynchronous is significant. An interaction with copyright may involve reading an article, watching a video, interacting with a blog.  Should we standardize on either ‘interaction’ or ‘encounter’? We mean the same thing don’t we?
  • We are interested in talking to you if you would like to adapt it for another country and would be happy to have an all expenses paid trip to your country!
  • Understanding Librarians' experiences of copyright

    2. 2. BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW • Originated from the European Copyright Literacy study, but we were looking to understand UK librarians’ experiences of copyright more deeply • Copyright and IPR issues part of ethical use of information and crucial for librarians but our survey suggested they were a source of fear / annoyance / boredom / anxiety • Opportunities to enhance copyright education (both in professional qualifications and CPD) • Looking to develop confidence and understand the value of games-based learning
    3. 3. EMBEDDING COPYRIGHT LITERACY Encouraging more general awareness of copyright issues so librarians/info specialists can educate academics about complying with copyright law. Also practical awareness for students’ creative work and using [copyright] material in their own work.
    5. 5. PARALLELS TO IL • Copyright is about ambiguity - not right and wrong answers • Copyright education can often be reactive (dealing with ‘problems’) so how can we shift it to being proactive (teaching in context)? • Copyright education requires empathy and trust • Copyright needs to be understood in context – it’s not simply a one size fits all • Is learning about copyright a threshold concept – but a portal many avoid ever going through?
    6. 6. CONCLUSIONS FROM THE UK COPYRIGHT LITERACY SURVEY Need for more cross-national analysis Librarians likely to compare favourably to other professionals? Need more qualitative data to investigate How copyright literacy is effectively embedded in education How to develop a effective approach to copyright literacy Understand the role of the generalists vs dedicated copyright professional More engaging training
    7. 7. CONCLUSIONS FROM THE UK COPYRIGHT LITERACY SURVEY Need for more cross-national analysis Librarians likely to compare favourably to other professionals? Need more qualitative data to investigate How copyright literacy is effectively embedded in education How to develop a effective approach to copyright literacy Understand the role of the generalists vs dedicated copyright professional More engaging training
    9. 9. UNDERSTANDING COPYRIGHT EXPERIENCES • Copyright is not a fixed ‘thing’ and is tied up with people’s experiences • Phenomenography (people’s experience of phenomena) seemed an ideal research method • Undertook 3 focus groups to test out the approach in HE • Allows us to understand variations in the way copyright is experienced by different types of librarians: • Academic support / subject librarians • Research support / repository staff • Teaching support staff • Enquiries / customer service • The findings are helping us to consider better ways of devising copyright education and embedding copyright into institutional strategies
    10. 10. COPYRIGHT AS AN EXPERIENCE Category 1: Copyright is seen as a problem Category 2: Copyright is seen as complicated Category 3: Copyright is seen as a ‘thing’ requiring coherent messages Category 4: Copyright is an opportunity for negotiation, collaboration and co-construction of understanding © ©
    11. 11. COPYRIGHT IS SEEN AS A PROBLEM* *Because of the fundamental tension between human and intellectual property rights
    15. 15. DIMENSIONS OF VARIATION • The role of the librarian • The ideology of the librarian towards copyright • Their level of knowledge: from novice > expert • Their audience – who are they dealing with? • Context of the interaction
    17. 17. THE IN-HOUSE © EXPERT
    19. 19. Designed to teach librarians about copyright works, usages, licences and exceptions Making copyright interactive and engaging Downloaded over 2,500 times and consistently positive feedback Creative Commons Licensed COPYRIGHT THE CARD GAME https://copyrightliteracy.org/about-2/copyright-the-card-game/
    20. 20. THE PUBLISHING TRAP Find out more at: https://youtu.be/eNXesoQx-1w  Prototype games designed to teach PhD students, early career researchers and academics about scholarly communication  Aim of game is to connect your research with the wider world  Points awarded for impact, knowledge and money  Runners up prize at LILAC 2016
    22. 22. FURTHER READING Åkerlind, G. S. (2005). Variation and commonality in phenomenographic research methods. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(4): 321-334. Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography – A research approach to investigating different understandings of reality. Journal of thought, 21(3): 28-49. Morrison, C and Secker J. (2015) Copyright Literacy in the UK: a survey of librarians and other cultural heritage sector professionals. Library and Information Research. 39 (121). (forthcoming) Secker, J and Morrison, C. (2016) Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners. Facet publishing: London. Todorova, T., Trencheva, T., Kurbanoğlu, S., Dogan G., & Horvat, A. (2014) A Multinational Study on Copyright Literacy Competencies of LIS Professionals. Presentation given at 2nd European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) held in Dubrovnik. October 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2015 from http://ecil2014.ilconf.org/wp- content/uploads/2014/11/Todorova.pdf Yates, C, Partridge, H and Bruce, C. (2012) Exploring information experiences through phenomenography. Library and Information Research, 36 (112). http://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/viewFile/496/552 https://copyrightliteracy.org
    23. 23. IMAGE CREDITS Images from Flickr licensed under Creative Commons Slide 4, 24: Microsoft clip art Slide 25: If you are not confused https://flic.kr/p/frJ48 Slide 26: Open: https://flic.kr/p/mzqM Slide 28: Video tape archive storage https://flic.kr/p/aUgdnB Slide 29: Z Smith Reynolds Library https://flic.kr/p/d7dL8d Slide 37: Back to back https://flic.kr/p/8NCuPU Others Slide 27: Views of Aberystwyth from National Library of Wales (no known copyright) Slide 32: Open clip art Slide 38: Logos owned by respective organisations, no endorsement implied Slide 39 by Jane Secker licensed under CC-BY-SA