For immediate release | September 4, 2012

ALA releases copyright guidebook for librarians and educators

Washington, D.C. — As the digital environment continues to develop rapidly, school librarians and K-12 educators face challenging issues concerning copyright-protected print and online materials at schools and outside of the traditional educational environment. When asked to make copyright decisions, uncertain librarians and educators tend to take more conservative copyright positions than necessary for fear of liability.

Today, the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) released the book “Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators” to help librarians and teachers understand copyright law. The book teaches school librarians and educators how to fully exercise rights such as fair use while making decisions that are both lawful and best serve the learning community.

The book, written by Carrie Russell, director of ALA’s Program on Public Access to Information, explores complex situations often encountered in classrooms, such as the use of copyrighted material for school assignments, library operations, extracurricular activities and on the Web. Additionally, the book includes original and extraordinary illustrations by cartoonist Jessica Abel that depict “the day in the life” of a typical high school.

“Carrie weaves together the intricacies of the law with practical applications so that practitioners can use the book’s material in their schools and libraries easily,” said Helen Ruth Adams, a member of the OITP Advisory Committee and a faculty member at Mansfield University. “And the fabulous layout and great readability make it hard to put the book down.”

“Complete Copyright: An Everyday Guide for K-12 Librarians and Educators” is a new, publication fashioned after Russell’s previous best-selling book “Complete Copyright,” which was also published by OITP. Most recently, OITP described the features and attributes of the current e-book environment in the report “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries,” and examined critical issues underlying equitable access to digital content in the report “E-content: The Digital Dialogue.”

“For more than a decade, library copyright and licensing issues have been a major portfolio of OITP,” said Alan Inouye, OITP director.

In the coming weeks, the OITP will host a series of discussions about the book, including webinars and in-person appearances. Learn more about the book at the ALA Store.


About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world,with approximately 60,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.



Jazzy Wright

Press Officer

Washington Office (WASH)

800-545-2433 8208