[A2k] EIFL statement at SCCR/29 on libraries and archives

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Wed Dec 17 10:36:15 PST 2014

 Submitted in writing to the Secretariat (only).

I am speaking on behalf of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) that
works with libraries in more than 60 developing and transition economy

I work in a university library in Armenia, a country at the crossroads of
Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Copyright is important to libraries in
Armenia. The law has been under review for over two years, and we are
working hard to ensure that library voices are heard during the process.
But copyright is new to many of our librarians, and we have to first
explain the concept before we can explain the rules. And it’s sometimes
hard to explain the rules when copyright is often viewed as a frustration
that prevents information from being used.

Our lecturers cannot understand why we were refused permission to place a
copy of an expensive textbook, of which the library has already purchased
15 printed copies, in the university's Virtual Learning Environment i.e. a
secure electronic reserve of materials available to a group of registered
students and faculty members attending a course. At the same time there is
no electronic version available from the publishers and the purchase price
of the book that is equivalent to the monthly rent of a studio flat in
Yerevan, is out of the question for students.

I will highlight a copyright restriction that I encounter on a regular
basis relating to document delivery (requests by students and teachers for
specialist material not available in our library) when requests sent
through our international document supply system to other libraries are
often cancelled. For example, just last week a request for two short book
chapters for a researcher on improving coursework presentation through
drama was denied. Yet the book, published in 1987, is out of print and is
not available in any library in Armenia. In fact the closest library that
has the book is more than 1,000km away. How can I explain that copyright
supports education and research? How does this encourage respect for

Testimonies from libraries at SCCR/27 showed that cross-border document
supply is a critical supplement to library information services everywhere.
Yet the chart in the updated Crews study shows that only 10% of copyright
laws permit document supply.

Dear delegates, libraries must be able to make reasonable copies for
reasonable purposes. We need a global exception so that libraries in
Armenia and other countries can send and receive content, as I have
described, in support of education and learning. Then our librarians can
better explain the concept of copyright, and our users will better
understand, and respect, the rules.

Thank you for your attention.

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