Lisa Hinchliffe Connects Copyright and Info Lit

Benson:  Today’s episode of Copyright Chat features Lisa Hinchliffe, colleague of mine at the University of Illinois Library, coordinator of Information Literacy Service and Instruction, full professor, and chair of the IFLA Information Literacy Section. Thank you for being here, Lisa.

Hinchliffe: Thank you for having me.

Benson: So you recently co-organized an offsite meeting at IFLA 2017, titled “Models for Copyright Education and Information Literacy Programs.” Can you tell me a little bit about why you organized that program?

Hinchliffe: Sure. It was a really very successful program. I’m really proud of it I co-organized this with my colleagues Janice Pilch, who’s a faculty member at Rutgers library, and Tom Lipinski, who is the Dean of the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Collectively, we have an interest in making sure that everyone who’s using information understands the way that copyright impacts the work that they do, but then, a special angle of this particular program was to look at the ways that libraries educate users around copyright, through primarily, of course, our information literacy programs. So we are able to look at the question of, you know, how do we make sure through staff training and development that library workers are aware of copyright, fair-use related issues, but then also how are we passing those along to the people that we are responsible for educating, often undergraduate students, but also graduate students, post-docs, faculty, staff–there’s so many people who are seeking that kind of guidance on information literacy­­. They’re seeking that kind of guidance on copyright, and that we are able to serve them through our information literacy programs.

Benson: So when you originally proposed this conference, offsite session of IFLA, was this a natural connection between copyright and information literacy that others saw, or was this something that you had to kind of make apparent to others in terms of the connection that you saw between the two?

Hinchliffe: Sure, actually, we were quite pleased to see that it was not difficult to explain the importance of bringing these two issues together at all. The way IFLA works is a group will make a proposal that they want to hold such an offsite meeting, and as that proposal is reviewed, the review committee will often encourage them to participate and engage other groups in IFLA, and so the copyright and other legal matters committee of IFLA had wanted to do something around copyright education, and as that proposal was reviewed, they were encouraged to talk to the information literacy section. And it was no question at all within the information literacy section that we wanted to engage in this, because we know that libraries and librarians are engaging in the issues of copyright education as part of their information literacy programs, whether it’s the most sort of, if you will, sort of the routine of the importance of siting your sources, up to, of course, our more robust scholarly communications information literacy programs that particularly have an emphasis, for example, on making sure that scholars understand their rights as authors and as copyright owners. So there was no question. I think everyone saw both the natural fit for these groups to work together, but also, I think, the increasing importance of making sure that we are talking across what can be library silos. You know, the scholarly communications copyright unit may or may not be organizationally connected to the information literacy education team, and I think through this program we are able to help see the importance of forging those partnerships within a library as well as within the profession as a whole.

Benson: And do you see a need for additional conferences that have an international audience in terms of copyright, because I’m familiar with a United States copyright conference, the Kramer Conference, but I’m not familiar with an international conference, so this was rather unique in that aspect.

Hinchliffe: Right, I think that, you know, IFLA is often that site where we bring these different national perspectives together, regional perspectives, and I, for one, really value the way that coming to understand how librarians in other parts of the world are engaging these issues can often inspire me to see my own work in a different way, and I think we saw that at the offsite meeting. So it is, of course, the case that we all work under different legal regimes with our national laws, but I think we also know that increasingly intellectual property is being addressed and affected by many of our global organizations. WIPO obviously comes to mind as a very important one. So I think it is valuable for us to see, not just how we do things locally or nationally, but also how those same issues are playing out in other countries, not the least of which is now, it’s very easy for our users in the United States to be accessing content that is produced elsewhere in the world, and that may have interesting effects. I use the word “interesting,” could be “difficult,” or “challenging” issues for us to help them resolve around what kinds of rights and responsibilities they have if they want to use those materials. So I think this kind of international dialogue and exchange is very very critical. There’s already been quite a bit of conversation about asking, you know, is there a way to continue this conversation within IFLA, and I’m quite hopeful that we’ll see a path forward over the coming years to continue that at IFLA, but I also think this may have sparked some desire to do some programming at more of a regional level. So perhaps we’ll see some things happening in Western Europe, perhaps in other parts of the world.  So I think it’s important not to only have national and then IFLA, but also look at when regional programming makes some sense as well.

Benson: I think that’s a good point, and it seemed to me that it was interesting to just see a variety of different perspectives about copyright, because I get kind of caught up in the United States perspective so often that you don’t realize how varied the differences are in terms of whether people like the concept of fair use, for instance, which I’ve always kind of taken for granted. And there’s actually quite a debate on the international scene regarding that. So is there anywhere that folks can find out more information about the offsite session, is there a website they can go to? Where can people look to find more information if they weren’t able to attend IFLA?

Hinchliffe: Sure. So, as you said, the name of the off-site session itself was, just to repeat it now, “Models for Copyright Education and Information Literacy Programs,” and with many of your users or your listeners to this Copyright Chat being librarians, I know that they can use Google to find that on the IFLA website. But at this point, I also want to mention that over the coming months, we’ll be depositing, inviting our scholars who presented at the conference to deposit their work within the IFLA library, so hopefully we’ll see the powerpoints from the presentations deposited in the IFLA library where everyone will be able to access them. And then, we are working on publishing a special issue of The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, which will be working through the peer review process and the like, so that peer review process and submission process will happen this fall, and so hopefully we’ll see that issue come out early next year in 2018. That journal itself is an open access journal, and so we’re really pleased to have been able to create a partnership with them with the memorandum of understanding, so that the work can continue to be propagated through that scholarly forum as well.

Benson: Great! Well, I thank you for joining me today. I hope if any of our listeners have any questions about the conference that they will find you on the University of Illinois Library website, and they can certainly filter questions through me as well. And I look forward to reading that special issue.

Hinchliffe: Thank you, Sara, it was a pleasure to talk with you today.

 

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