E-reserves to make move

Joy Marie Hallare / The Collegian

By August, the Henry Madden Library will no longer offer electronic reserves for faculty, according to library officials.

The electronic reserves, also known as e-reserves, will migrate to the Blackboard service, which is already available across campus.

David Tyckoson, the library’s associate dean, said the change will benefit students and the library.

Tyckoson said students will benefit, because their course readings will all be found in one place. He said the system, as it stands now, can make some readings difficult to find

The library, Tyckoson said, will benefit by saving money. The library will no longer have to license the software necessary for e-reserves.

“And it will save us staff time that we can apply to other things, since we have fewer staff then we used to,” Tyckoson said. “And e-reserves is a very time consuming process for us.”

The budget and staffing cuts to the library meant the library could no longer afford to continue to spend so much time on e-reserves, Tyckoson said.

Tyckoson said researching copyright laws and their restrictions is also a large time commitment.

“Finding out if it’s copyrighted, who has the copyright and if you can get permission is a huge job,” Tyckoson said.

Tyckoson said textbook publishers have become sensitive to copyright laws, because they want to avoid the large-scale file sharing that has affected the music and film industries.

In 2008, three publishing companies filed a suit against Georgia State University that claimed the university broke copyright law through its electronic course reserves service.

Gretchen Higginbottom, the head of resource sharing and faculty reserves, said publishers do not always give the copyright out freely, and the copyright owner is not always easy to find.

Higginbottom said the library will continue to reserve textbooks in their physical form, but now professors will be responsible for creating electronic reserves and researching the copyrights for those documents.

The process for creating and posting e-reserves, Higginbottom said, is not difficult. She compared it to attaching a document to an e-mail.

Higginbottom said there will be a station in the library where professors can get help scanning and creating the e-reserves.

“We’ll make the equipment available for them to use, but we’re not doing the scanning for them,” Higginbottom said.

Digital Campus, a resource center for faculty, will also be available to aid faculty as they create and post their electronic documents.

Brent Auernheimer, the director of Digital Campus, said faculty will also be available to inform faculty about copyright and fair use law.

In an e-mail interview, Auernheimer said he expects the Blackboard system to be better than the old e-reserves system, because all class material will be in one place.

“Blackboard provides more functionality for faculty and students, so I expect the overall experience will be even better,” Auernheimer said.

Elizabeth Swearingen, a professor of women’s studies, said if the process is easy to use, then it would be beneficial for her classes, because using only one text never captures an entire course.

However, if finding the copyright proves to be time consuming, Swearingen said she’d avoid using it all together.

“That would stop me,” Swearingen said.

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