Skip to main content
Stephens College Homepage
Stephens College / Library Homepage

Stephens Library : Library Policies

Circulation Policy

Borrowing Policy

All Hugh Stephens Library materials have the due date clearly stamped. It is an individual's responsibility to return materials in a timely fashion. When library materials become overdue, the library will send an overdue notice as a courtesy reminder. Materials not returned by the billing date will be billed at the Stephens College Accounting Office and will appear on your monthly statement.  We encourage students not to check out materials for friends.  Whomever the material is charged to is responsible for any fines.

Loan Periods

The due date for books is typically 30 days from the day of check out. Reserve materials circulate for 2, 4, 24 or 48 hours and most are for library use only. Reference materials and periodicals do not leave the library.

Renewing Books

If a longer loan period is need, materials may be renewed. The loan will be extended to the next due date. Books may be renewed through "Arthur", the online catalog, by clicking on View Your Own Record/Renew Items and following the instructions given on the computer screen. Materials received though InterLibrary Loan may be renewed only upon consent of the lending library.

Non-Stephens Books -- MOBIUS, Arthur, and Interlibrary Loans

Borrowing materials from another academic library is a privilege, not a right. Borrowers must abide by the rules, guidelines and policies of the lending library. Abuse of this privilege may result in a library revoking your circulation privileges.

Any transaction a borrower makes at another library is that borrower's responsibility. 

Borrowers requesting books via Inter Library Loan are bound by the policies of the lending institution.

Overdue and Billing Procedures

When library materials become overdue, the library staff identifies the overdue material and checks the library stacks. As a courtesy reminder, an Overdue Notice is sent for all overdue materials. For reserve materials, the Overdue Notice will notify a borrower that if the item is not returned by the billing date (3 days from receipt of notice) the borrower will be charged a non-refundable $10 overdue fine in addition to a replacement fee for each item. If the reserve material is returned by the billing date in good condition, only the overdue fine will be charged.

A replacement fee will be charged for each item still checked out after the billing date (see chart below for amounts). All replacement fees and overdue fines are charged to a student's My Stephens/PowerCampus account and will appear on the monthly statement. 

Replacement Fees and Overdue Fines

Replacement fees for MOBIUS books are set by the loaning institution and are non-negotiable. The following fees represent reasonable replacement costs for materials and are not intended as punitive. The replacement fee is levied for EACH lost item and is not refundable. The following are the replacement fees for Stephens College items only:

Regular circulating books 
$70 per item 

Educational Resources: Children's Literature 
$30 per item 

Educational Resources: Curriculum Kits 
Replacement fees reflect the actual cost of replacement and may be as much as $500.

Reserve Materials
(Regular-sized, photocopied, or audio/visual material) 
$70 flat replacement charge;
possible $10 overdue charge.
Audio/Visual Materials
(VHS, DVDs, CDs, or CD-ROMs)
$70 or cost of replacement per item


If you have any questions regarding the overdue policy or procedure, please contact the Circulation Manager at 876-7182 (extension 4182) or

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Members of the Stephens College community may place requests for library materials not available at Hugh Stephens Library. Patrons who may request materials include: undergraduate and graduate students; current and retired faculty, staff and administrators.

Patrons should first check the Arthur and MOBIUS catalogs for the library books they seek. You will get the materials you need much more quickly if you submit your requests through those catalogs first. The turn around time for the Arthur and MOBIUS books is generally three business days. Thoroughly check all of the online databases on the Library's website before submitting interlibrary loan requests for articles from journals. If you do not find the materials that you need in the Library's collection—either on the shelves, through the Arthur and MOBIUS catalogs, or as full-text articles through the online databases--then you may submit requests through standard Interlibrary Loan.

Requests for borrowing materials may be submitted in a number of different ways.  You can fill out an interlibrary loan request (paper) form available at the library.  This is most easily accomplished with the assistance of a reference librarian. Requests may also be submitted by filling out an electronic form on the library website or via email.  Requests can also often be made through the library databases. The ILL request forms must be accurately and legibly completed and must provide as much citation information as possible. If you need assistance finding materials or filling out the forms please contact the library at (573) 876-7182.

Library's Address:
Hugh Stephens Library, Interlibrary Loan Department
1200 E. Broadway, Box 2054
Stephens College
Columbia, MO 65215
Phone: (573) 876-7182
Fax: (573) 876-7264

Standard interlibrary loan may take some time. Books will generally take 1 to 2 weeks as they are shipped through the postal mail. Journal articles vary—they may arrive rapidly if they are not from an obscure journal and if the lending library will send them electronically.  Allow at least two weeks for dissertations.

Some materials may not be available through interlibrary loan. It is the lending library's prerogative to refuse to fill a request. All due dates are set by the lending library. The ability for renewal of an item is also set by the lending library.

Stephens' students who want to borrow current textbooks for classes they are taking may request the books through the Arthur or MOBIUS catalogs.  However, if the textbook is not available through these catalogs, Stephens College Library has a policy not to obtain current textbook editions through standard Interlibrary Loan (OCLC).  Instead, please consult with a Reference Librarian about other options including getting an older edition through Arthur, MOBIUS, or OCLC, or perhaps finding the current edition elsewhere.

The cost involved in borrowing interlibrary loan materials is not passed on to our patrons. There is no charge for the loan of books or for copies of journal articles received through standard interlibrary loan. However, individuals are responsible for books or other materials borrowed through interlibrary loan and are expected to return their library materials in a timely manner. The loaning institution sets the replacement costs and any other processing fees for overdue or lost materials. These fees are non-negotiable.

Information for Institutional Borrowers

  • ILL requests may be submitted through OCLC, ALA forms, or via e-mail at
  • Non-circulating items include: reference or reserve materials, visual materials, audio materials, single issues of journals, bound journals, newspapers, microforms, curriculum kits, and senior or graduate theses.
  • Requests for journal articles available only through our online databases will not be filled.
  • Stephens College Library will loan to libraries in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • The initial loan period is 37 days. Renewals are possible as long as no one else has placed a “hold” on the item. The first renewal period is 30 days. Additional renewals are at the discretion of the Librarian.
  • There is a $120.00 replacement cost per volume for Stephens College Library books lost through interlibrary loan borrowing.
  • The library is closed for the entire week between and including Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.

Course Reserves Policy

Many faculty members place materials on reserve for student use.  This system allows everyone in a class equal access through use of short-term checkout periods.  

Reserves are available for check out at the circulation desk of Stephens Library.  Loan periods are set by the professor at 2-hour or 4-hour “In Library Use Only” items; or 24-hour or 48-hour loan items which a student may take out of the library. Reserve material loans are restricted to currently enrolled students and currently employed faculty and staff members.  A borrower’s record must be clear of all fines, bills, and blocks to check out reserve items.  Borrowers are limited to three reserve items at a time. 

As reserves are short-term checkouts, borrowers are responsible for observing the length of checkout time allotted, and whether the item is "In Library Use Only" or whether the item may leave the Library.  Tags on each item will show this information and also alert that fines will occur for overdue items. 

Non-receipt of overdue and billing notices does not exempt users from fines or replacement costs.  All Library notices are sent to official Stephens email accounts.  Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for checking their Stephens College email regularly.

The borrower is responsible for overdue, missing, billed, or damaged materials.  Fines and replacement costs will be assessed accordingly.  To avoid fines and fees, please return reserve items to the Library Circulation desk before they are overdue.  In the event that the Library is closed, please use the drop-box at the front of the Library between the two front doors to return reserve items.  Overdue reserve items will automatically trigger a library block, and billed items and assessed fines will be entered into "My Stephens/PowerCampus."

Fines and replacement costs for reserve items can be paid by cash or check at Stephens Library Circulation.  The library will order any needed replacement copies.  Please contact the Library at (573) 876-7182 or concerning a lost or damaged book or other reserve questions.

Reserve Information For Faculty

To place an item(s) on reserve, please fill out the reserve form and send it along with the item to the Library Circulation Department, campus box 2054, or drop off materials at the front desk of the library.  Please allow three working days for materials to appear on reserve for student use.

The library will work with faculty members to give extended checkout periods for items they have placed on reserve for student use, but may need to check out themselves for classroom use.  Those faculty members may get a reminder notice if a course reserve item they still hold has become overdue.

Stephens Library will not replace faculty member’s personal copies, nor departmental copies, of books, documents, kits or media items, that have been lost or damaged while on reserve, for a cost greater than $150 per item.

Due to privacy concerns, sign-in sheets for student checkout to track course reserves will not be used.  Exceptions are made for sign-in sheet use for faculty committees, or groups such as Mortar Board.

Information for Faculty about Copyright Compliance Issues for Reserve Materials

Items appropriate for reserves include Stephens Library materials or legally acquired materials from a faculty member’s personal collection.  Stephens Library will work to acquire items that can be purchased for the library’s collection and then placed on reserve for a class.  Purchasing materials assures copyright compliance for placement on reserves.  Stephens Library cannot place on Reserve books or other items that have been borrowed through MOBIUS or Interlibrary Loan.

Libraries are bound by certain restrictions and prohibitions in regard to reserve materials.  We may need to consult with a faculty member to seek out appropriate work-arounds so that the materials are copyright compliant in a reserve setting. 

Each faculty member is responsible for checking for Fair Use, or obtaining copyright permission if necessary.  If copyright permission is needed for a reserve item and the faculty member did not obtain permission, then the library will obtain permission. Those costs will be billed back to the faculty member’s department’s printing/copying account. 

Please contact the circulation desk at Stephens Library if a sample form letter is needed to obtain copyright permission from a publisher or a copyright owner/holder, or a Fair Use checklist to see if the project falls under Fair Use.  The contact information for circulation is (573) 876-7182 or

The library accepts photocopied copyrighted materials for reserve purposes according to copyright Fair Use guidelines.  Copying should not substitute for the purchase of books, publishers’ reprints or periodicals.  Educational use is not automatically Fair Use.  It may be considered infringing on copyright if the use substantially interferes with the copyright owners/holders right to profit from their creative endeavor.

Examples of photocopied materials requiring permission:

  • Repetitive Copying:  The classroom or reserve use of photocopied materials in multiple courses OR in successive years will normally require advance permission from the owner of the copyright.
  • Consumable Works:  The duplication of works that are consumed in the classroom, such as standardized tests and booklets, answer sheets, exercises, and workbooks, normally requires permission from the copyright owner.
  • Course packs:  require proof of copyright permission to place on reserve initially, and subsequent permissions are needed for each of the various materials for successive placement on reserve in the future.

Copying shall not be used to re-create or replace anthologies, compilations or collective works.

Remember that Stephens Library will work with any faculty or staff member to acquire copyright compliant reserve materials.

Collection Development Policy


This policy intends to provide guidance with respect to collection development at the Hugh Stephens Library.

The Stephens College community, as served by the Hugh Stephens Library, includes students, faculty and staff, with students being the primary service community. 

The library aims to provide a balanced collection with a strong emphasis on scholarship and relevance to the curriculum.   It is the goal of the library to develop a current and applicable collection for each major discipline offered by the college.

Responsibility and Procedure for Selection

Responsibility for the selection of monographic materials lies primarily with the Research & Collection Development Librarian with assistance from the Library Director and part-time reference staff.  Faculty are essential to the selection process, and are highly encouraged to request the purchase of materials that support instruction and student research.  All library staff and other members of the Stephens College community may recommend titles.  Student requests will be given special attention.  All recommendations are forwarded to the Library Director for final approval and purchase. 

The Library Director will consult with library staff and faculty to select databases.  Electronic Resources may be recommended by library staff and faculty.  New database subscriptions are limited by current and expected budgets, as well as relevance to the curriculum. 

Serials will be added to the collection if they will be used heavily and are relevant to the curriculum.  Free subscriptions will be added if they are relevant and well-reviewed. 

Instructional Media to be used for the classroom, such as DVDs or streaming video, will be purchased within the constraints of the budget.

Selection Guidelines

In general, the library does not purchase textbooks, audio books, or foreign language materials.  Multiple copies will only be purchased of heavily used books.  In the case of non-monograph materials, electronic formats are preferred.

Reference materials, when recommended by faculty, are acquired within the constraints of the budget.  Certain annual publications will be collected by standing order.

Monographs requested frequently through Interlibrary Loan are referred to the Research & Collection Development Librarian for possible purchase and addition to the collection.  If articles from the same journal are frequently requested, that journal will be considered for subscription.

The Library is unable to collect for faculty research.

A dissertation that cannot be borrowed via interlibrary loan will be considered for purchase if it supports the curriculum and the needs of student research.

Additions to the Albert Schweitzer Collection are made from a gift fund established to support this collection.

Education materials are selected for the general collection and the Educational Resource Center (ERC).  The ERC materials are selected and purchased by the Education Department and are processed by and shelved within the Library.

All selection decisions will take into consideration the library's partnership with MOBIUS, a library consortium in the Missouri area of which Stephens College is a member.  Specialized areas outside the realm of the curriculum, and specialized items outside the library's budget, will be borrowed from other institutions at patron request.

The Hugh Stephens Library abides by the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements. These may be viewed on the American Library Association’s website.

Replacement of Lost or Damaged Books

Materials that have been lost or damaged beyond repair will be replaced if they support the curriculum and the cost is reasonable.


Deselection, or weeding, is essential to maintain an up-to-date collection in good physical condition. Librarians are responsible for evaluating the collection for items that are (1) in poor condition, (2) contain outdated or incorrect information, (3) have been superseded by a newer format, or (4) have seen very little usage.  Any item that meets at least one of these four criteria will be evaluated to determine if it should be repaired, replaced, updated, or removed from the collection.

Database subscriptions may be cancelled if use is low or there is a dramatic change in licensing terms or cost.

Serial subscriptions will be reviewed annually and may be cancelled if they are found to be no longer relevant, or if the price, frequency of publication, or other factors affecting the subscription have changed significantly.

Faculty will be notified when resources in their subject areas are targeted for withdrawal or cancellation.  Physical materials targeted for withdrawal will be held for a one week period to allow faculty the opportunity to confirm or object to particular items.  If faculty provide no response then such materials will be withdrawn.

MOBIUS also provides guidelines for the withdrawal of “last copy” or “limited copy” items.  It is recommended that if fewer than three copies would be left in MOBIUS upon discarding an item, the library should consider retaining it.  However, if it is otherwise decided to withdraw such items, the library will offer it to other MOBIUS libraries via the MOBIUS-USERS-L list serve.  If after two weeks no other MOBIUS library requests such materials, items will be discarded.  MOBIUS also states that they recognize it may not be desirable to retain last copies of items that are damaged or contain outdated or incorrect information.  In such cases the “last copy” or “limited copy” procedure does not apply.

Withdrawn items will be offered free to the Stephens community, but dependent on condition and potential interest.  Remaining items will be given to the Daniel Boone Regional Library for inclusion in their book sales, but again, dependent on condition and potential interest.   All others will be recycled.

Gift Policy

Gifts to the Hugh Stephens Library will be accepted if they support the current and anticipated curriculum, are of interest to the general college community, are in a format currently collected by the library, and the gift comes free of restrictions by the donor. The library cannot accept gifts if their physical condition does not allow normal library use.

Gifts where a copy already is in the collection will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Special consideration will be given to alumnae gifts. The Library Director is the contact person for alumnae.

Gift material that pertains to the history of the college (yearbooks, senior projects, etc.), are not retained in the library but are forwarded to the College Archives.

The Library is under no obligation to accept or acknowledge gifts which are not prearranged, and reserves the right to utilize all donations to its best advantage.

Materials not retained will be disposed of at the discretion of the library. 

Books & Other Materials Donation Policy

Donated books and other materials to the Hugh Stephens Library will be accepted if they support the current and anticipated curriculum, are of interest to the general college community, are in a format currently collected by the library, and the gift comes free of restrictions by the donor.

Gifts where a copy already is in the collection will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Gift material that pertains to the history of the college (yearbooks, senior projects, etc.), are not retained in the library but are forwarded to the College Archives. 
The Library is under no obligation to accept or acknowledge gifts which are not prearranged, and reserves the right to utilize all donations to its best advantage. 
Materials not retained will be disposed of at the discretion of the library, including the possibility of them given to book sales or of them recycled.

Copyright & Fair Use Policy

DISCLAIMER: This policy does not cover the Stephens College campus as a whole. It only serves as a guideline and example of conduct for the staff and patrons of the Library.

What is copyright?

Copyright Law, (U.S. Copyright Act, title 17 U.S. Code) gives specific rights to the creators and distributors of creative works so that creativity is encouraged in our culture and so that copyright owners can realize a profit from their creative endeavors. Copyright law begins with the premise that the copyright owner has exclusive legal rights to many uses of a protected work, notably rights to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works, and publicly display or perform the work.

Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy (written, printed, pictorial or graphic, film, or video form) or in a phonorecord (music recordings) for the first time. You must assume that most creative works are protected by copyright . Copyright protection covers works that are both published (including out-of-print), and unpublished. Almost everything written or created privately and originally after April 1, 1989, is copyrighted and protected whether it has a copyright notice or not.

If you are not a copyright holder for a particular work, as determined by the law, you must ordinarily obtain copyright permission prior to reusing or reproducing that work. Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. This act of infringement breaks federal copyright law. However, certain statutes make specific allowances, or exceptions, for reproductions made by individuals or libraries. These exceptions or exemptions under limited circumstances are called "Fair Use" privilege. You should determine if the copies that you choose to make are allowed under the "Fair Use" privilege beforehand. The library has a checklist link below to help you make that determination.

"Fair Use" in an educational setting

There is no "right" of "Fair Use." Copyright law protects the rights of the copyright holder, whether the work is published or unpublished. There are, however, certain exceptions or exemptions. Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 is called the "Fair Use" statute and allows for reproduction of copyrighted works under certain limited circumstances.. "purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" may be allowed. If the intended reproduction of the work falls under one of the purposes outlined above, then a determination as to whether the reproduction is "Fair Use" must be made based on the four factors below. Just because a reproduction/copy may be for educational or teaching purposes will not guarantee that it is, in fact, "Fair Use." The student or faculty member may be breaking copyright law and may be liable in court if they have not considered the "Four Factors" below before making their reproductions or copies.

Guidelines for judging "Fair Use" - the "Four Factors"
  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work;
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Checklist for "Fair Use"

The Fair Use Checklist, designed by attorney Kenneth D. Crews, offers a checklist to help you think through the process of what is "Fair Use" in an educational setting. The form walks you through a more detailed explanation of the "Four Factors" above so that you can best judge "Fair Use" for yourself. Retain the checklist you filled out so that if there is a question down the road (in case you are challenged by the copyright owner), you will have the paperwork handy so that just a glance will help you remember why you chose to copy, or post a document or image, or perform a copyrighted work.

Fair Use Checklist

Public domain and duration of copyright

What is not covered by copyright?

Certain items do not qualify for protection under copyright law. There are several reasons for this. There are items that do not qualify at all, for example, ideas which have never been fixed in any tangible form. Also strictly factual information such as that in lists and directories; and names, titles, and common symbols are considered to be culturally shared by the greater public. Government documents paid for by public funds also fall into the category of public domain. And sometimes documents of creative authorship are no longer protected under copyright because the term of copyright protection has expired.

These items do not qualify for copyright protection:

  • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form.
  • Titles, names, short phrases and slogans; familiar designs or symbols; mere variations of typographic ornament, lettering or coloring; and mere listing of ingredients or contents.
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries or devices.
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is in common property and has no original authorship. For example: standard calendars, height & weight charts, and lists or tables taken from public documents.
  • Government documents-information produced or sponsored by the government with public funds.
Public domain

A work of authorship is in the "public domain" if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection to begin with (see the list above) or if it is no longer protected, in other words, the copyright protection has expired. Works in the public domain may be used or reproduced freely.  For more information see the links below.

Duration of copyright 

Though copyright holders/owners are protected for a long period of time, the term of copyright will eventually expire unless the copyright is renewed or transferred. Duration of the term of copyright is very complicated. After the enactment of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (PL 105-298, 112 Stat. 2827 (1998)) the general rule of thumb is that items copyrighted (created) after January 1, 1978 are protected for the life of the copyright owner plus seventy years and items created prior to Jan. 1, 1978 vary. Because of this complexity it is best to refer to a chart for duration of copyright to attempt to determine if the document or object in question is still covered by copyright or whether it is now likely to be in the public domain. Below are links for determining term or duration of copyright. If you are unsure you should seek permission from the copyright owner or seek legal counsel.

Seeking copyright permission

Obtaining permission

Determine whether the item that you wish to reproduce/copy is protected by copyright or whether it is in the public domain. Then use the "Checklist for Fair Use" (remember to print off a copy for your files) to establish your purpose based on the "Four Factors." The checklist will help you determine whether you need to get permission or whether this project (document) that you are working on is covered under "Fair Use." Remember that if you are making copies in order to avoid purchasing extra copies of a book or paying for additional journal article copies you are probably breaking copyright law even in an educational setting . Use the online link "Checklist for "Fair Use"" for the checklist in a pdf version or use the paper forms of the "Checklist" that the Library keeps on hand at Circulation.

If your project does not comply either with the allowed exceptions, (if your reproduction or copy/copies of the work do not fall under "Fair Use," nor are they in the public domain), then you need to obtain permission to reproduce, copy, or post any documents or images in paper form or online. Stephens Library can assist faculty and staff by pointing them toward resources that will enable them to obtain copyright permission either directly through the copyright holder (the publisher, author, or artist), or through a copyright clearing house.

The Copyright Clearance Center

The easiest way to seek permission is through the Copyright Clearance Center. The CCC, as it is called, is a reproduction rights organization (RRO). They serve as a broker between copyright owners and the public. They have Pay-Per-Use Services online allowing individuals or academic institutions to seek permission on an item-by-item basis. You can obtain permission for several types or formats including text-based documents, and electronic and digital documents and images. The Copyright Clearance Center will do the footwork to obtain permission and they will charge you for their services. Contact the Copyright Clearance Center to secure permission. Remember to keep copies of your paperwork including any permission(s) granted and receipt of payment for the copyright clearance services rendered.

Copyright Clearance Center Permissions

If faculty or staff would rather obtain permission directly through the copyright holder/owner then the library can provide sample letters for requesting permission. Remember to plan ahead as obtaining permission may take some time.

Sample Permission Letter

Making copies in the Library


Students may photocopy journal articles or a chapter from a book when the purpose is for education, study or research purposes under "Fair Use." Stephens students may print out articles or documents from the Stephens Library online databases, or make photocopies of a chapter of a book or articles from the journals or magazines. They may also make a copy of documents that faculty members have placed on Reserve, or they may place requests for copies of journal articles and documents (under 50 pages), or a chapter of a book through Interlibrary Loan--also for purposes of education or research. Remember that if you are making copies in order to avoid purchasing a book or books, or paying for additional journal article copies, then you are probably breaking copyright law even in an educational setting. Your copies are for your own private use for study and research-if you are sharing them with others you may be breaking copyright law.

Copying videotapes, DVDs or CDs without the copyright owner's permission is illegal. Audiovisual materials checked out from the Library may be viewed by an individual in a private setting or by a larger group in a classroom setting under certain conditions:

  • The materials must be shown as part of the instructional program.
  • They must be shown by students, instructors, or guest lecturers.
  • They must be shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction.
  • They must be shown either in a face-to-face setting or where students and teacher(s) are in the same building or general area.
  • They must be shown only to students and educators.
  • They must be shown using a legitimate (not illegally reproduced) copy with the copyright notice included.

Prohibitions include:

  • Films or videos, even in a face-to-face classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation, whatever the work's intellectual content.
  • No fees for viewing a film or video are permitted even if public performance rights have been obtained.


How the Library can help

The faculty member is responsible for either determining "Fair Use" or for obtaining copyright permission for each instance of the reproduction of copyrighted material. You must assume that most creative works are protected by copyright. Almost everything written or created privately and originally after March 1, 1989, is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not . (See Public domain and duration of copyright). Note also that when a book is "out-of-print" that does not mean that it is in the public domain. Even hand written manuscripts that have never been and will never be published are still copyrighted and protected by copyright law.

The library can provide forms to help faculty members determine "Fair Use" or to obtain copyright permission before copying or reproducing an item. The faculty member may pick up these forms at the Library Circulation desk or they are also available by clicking on the links below. By filling out and printing off the checklist for "Fair Use," the instructor can gauge "Fair Use" for any given project/document they may be working on. Also, to obtain permission from the copyright holder/owner the library has links to the Copyright Clearance Center and also to a sample letter to use when writing to publishers to get permission.

Fair Use Checklist - designed by Kenneth D. Crews

Fair Use, Copyright Crash Course

Always remember if you are making photocopies/reproductions of a copyrighted work in order to avoid paying for the book (or an issue of a journal) then you are probably breaking copyright law by infringing on the copyright owner's legal right to profit from his/her creative effort.


Faculty should follow these guidelines for copying materials for research or preparation for teaching. Use other guidelines (below) as appropriate for multiple copies for classroom use, reserves, or coursepacks.

A single copy of any of the following may be made by an instructor for scholarly research or use in teaching or preparing to teach a class:

  • A chapter from a book.
  • An article from a periodical or newspaper.
  • A short story, short essay or short poem, whether or not from a collection.
  • A chart, diagram, graph, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.

Copyright in the classroom

The guidelines below are used by the Copyright Clearance Center and other academic institutions to help educators interpret the Fair Use provisions relating to classroom copying for educational use. These guidelines do not cover coursepacks (see section below for Coursepacks).

Multiple copies for classroom use: multiple copies (not to exceed more than one copy per pupil in a course) may be made by or for the teacher giving a course for classroom use or discussion, provided that the use meets the tests of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect as outlined below. Also each copy will need to include a notice of copyright. (The Library can provide a sample of the wording for the copyright notice).


Poetry: (a) A complete poem if less than 250 words and if printed on not more than two pages or (b) an excerpt of not more than 250 words from a longer poem.

Prose: (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words or (b) an excerpt from any prose work provided the excerpt is not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less.

Illustration: One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.

"Special" works: Certain works in poetry, prose or "poetic prose" which often combine language with illustrations and are intended for children and/or a more general audience fall short of 2.500 words in length. Such "special works" may not be reproduced in their entirety. However, an excerpt comprising not more than two of the published pages and not more than 10% of the words found in the text may be reproduced.


The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and

The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

Cumulative effect:

The copying of the material is for only one course, with no more than one copy per student in the course.

Not more than one short poem, article, story, essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term (semester).

There shall not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term (semester).


Copying shall not be used to create, replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works. Such replacement or substitution may occur whether copies of various works or excerpts there from are accumulated or are reproduced and used separately. (See Coursepacks below)

There shall be no copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or teaching - such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets and answer sheets.

Copying shall not:

  • substitute for the purchase of books, publisher's reprints or periodicals;
  • be directed by higher authority;
  • be repeated with respect to the same item by the same teacher from term to term.

No charge shall be made to the student beyond the actual cost of the photocopying.


Coursepacks are addressed in the Library's copyright policy because faculty may be considering reproducing chapters of books, or journal articles to put together a coursepack . It is the responsibility of the faculty member to obtain permission for all materials reproduced and distributed through coursepacks . Photocopying to compile a collection or "anthology" of materials for a coursepack does not fall under "Fair Use." You should obtain permission, for every article or chapter in a coursepack derived from copyrighted material, from the various copyright holders or their agents in order to achieve proper compliance.

Coursepacks may be produced by print services within an academic institution or by external vendors such as copy shops. The faculty member must confirm that the appropriate copyright permissions have been acquired otherwise both the copy shop and the academic institution may be found liable for copyright infringement. E- coursepacks or online collections of articles, book excerpts, or other materials collected by an instructor for student use also require copyright permissions as well.

The faculty member is responsible for obtaining copyright permission for the materials in the coursepack . Be sure that appropriate permission has been granted and that fees have been paid whether you do this yourself by contacting the copyright holders, agents, or publishers; or by going through the Copyright Clearance Center; or whether you verify that the copy services vendor has obtained the appropriate permissions. Deferring responsibility for copyright permission will not provide you protection against a claim of copyright infringement.

Anticipate that obtaining permission may take time and plan accordingly. The cost of obtaining copyright permission is often built in to the price that the student is charged for the coursepack , however, individuals who purchase coursepacks should not be charged in excess of the cost of reproduction and copyright fees.

To assist in obtaining copyright permission for coursepack materials be sure to include:

  • Complete citation information for the book excerpts, articles, etc.
  • As much information as possible about your specific use of the material (photocopy, intranet posting, or use with a course management system).
  • The length of time you wish to use the materials, and
  • The number of students expected to have access to these works.

Based on the information you provide, the Copyright Clearance Center or the copyright holder will specify permission details, terms and conditions, as well as any applicable fees. Copyright permission for coursepacks is usually granted by the academic period. To reuse a coursepack in subsequent academic periods you need to obtain permission again. The Library will not put coursepacks on Reserve without proof that copyright permissions have been obtained.

Copyright and coursepacks, info. from the Copyright Clearance Center

Academic coursepacks, Stanford University

Other Copyright issues for Faculty

Consult with our IT Department for current copyright information relating to computers or software, the Internet and webpages, Canvas, downloading, and file sharing.

Copying videotapes, DVDs or CDs without the copyright owner's permission is illegal. Audiovisual materials checked out from the Library may be viewed by an individual in a private setting or by a larger group in a classroom setting under certain conditions:

  • The materials must be shown as part of the instructional program.
  • They must be shown by students, instructors, or guest lecturers.
  • They must be shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction.
  • They must be shown either in a face-to-face setting or where students and teacher(s) are in the same building or general area.
  • They must be shown only to students and educators.
  • They must be shown using a legitimate (not illegally reproduced) copy with the copyright notice included. 

Prohibitions include:

  • Films or videos, even in a face-to-face classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation, whatever the work's intellectual content.
  • No fees for viewing a film or video are permitted even if public performance rights have been obtained.

For performance of copyrighted works in the classroom you should familiarize yourself with provisions of the TEACH Act. (See links to the TEACH Act, under the links to Copyright Laws).

Faculty members may wish to contact the Academic Affairs office for advice on copyright issues that seem to fall outside of "Fair Use" in an educational setting. Administrators can advise whether the College's legal counsel should be consulted in such circumstances.

Copyright as it relates to Reserves

Reserves are considered an extension of classroom teaching. Materials may be put on Reserve to supplement teaching and to give all students equal access to this supplemental information. Academic libraries may place on Reserve a limited number of copies of articles, chapters and portions of other copyrighted works. Copies include reproductions such as photocopies, phonorecordings, or other audiovisual recordings in electronic or digital forms. Reserve items are limited to one term.

  1. To supplement teaching the faculty member may photocopy and place on Reserve in the Library one copy of excerpts from copyrighted works;
  2. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to judge "Fair Use" and obtain permission(s);
  3. Multiple copies must bear permission from the copyright owner or must follow these guidelines:
    1. The amount of material should be reasonable in relation to the total amount of material assigned for one term of a course taking into account the nature of the course, its subject matter and level;
    2. The number of copies should be reasonable in light of the number of students enrolled, the difficulty and timing of assignments, and the number of other courses which may assign the same material;
    3. The material should contain a notice of copyright;
    4. The effect of photocopying the material should not be detrimental to the market for the work;
    5. The copying is for only one course during the year and will not be repeated during any future semesters.
  4. Consumable works such as standardized tests, exercises, and workbooks will not be copied or accepted unless permission from the copyright owner is received;
  5. All photocopies must bear the following notice in a prominent place: "NOTICE: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code)"
  6. The Library reserves the right to refuse to photocopy or to accept materials when it appears that by doing so it would be in violation of the copyright law.

Faculty members may ask the Library to place on Reserve a book from the Library's collection or they may ask the Library to purchase a copy for the Library's collection to put on Reserve.

Faculty members may place their own personal copies of books on Reserve.

Coursepacks will not be put on Reserve without proof that the necessary copyright permissions have been obtained.

Hugh Stephens Library will not place books or other materials from other libraries on Reserve at Stephens.

Hugh Stephens Library will not make Reserve copies for students.

Hugh Stephens Library will not mail or fax Reserve copies to students.

The Library is not authorized to make or distribute multiple copies;

The Library is not authorized to make systematic reproduction or distribution of single or multiple copies of any format.

Please allow three working days for the Library to process the items to go on Reserve. It is suggested that you use a Reserve work form, available at the Circulation desk, when placing materials on Reserve. This form asks for all information needed for processing the materials including whether you have already secured copyright permission if needed. A Library staff member will contact you if they have further questions.

Reserve at Stephens Library will use the ratio of one article copy for every ten students in a class. For articles in excess of that ratio, either the excess copies will be returned to the instructor, or permission must be obtained. If the Library must pay to obtain copyright compliance, for whatever reason, those costs will be forwarded to and billed back to the printing account of the instructor's department.

The materials will come off of Reserve at the end of the semester. Faculty members will get a reminder to pick up their materials. If a faculty member needs to have a journal article placed on Reserve that has been on Reserve the previous semester, then the faculty member must seek copyright permission in a timely manner for that article to be placed on Reserve again.

Music scores and song-books are shelved in Ready Reference at the Reference desk of the Library. They have a two-hour check out period. Under no circumstances are they allowed to leave the Library.

Electronic Reserves

Stephens Library does not offer this service at this time.

Copyright as it relates to Interlibrary Loan

Section 108(d) of the Copyright Law authorizes the making of a single copy of an article or a copy of a small part of a copyrighted work for purposes of interlibrary loan providing the following conditions are met:

  1. the copy becomes the property of the user;
  2. the Library has no notice that the copy would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research;
  3. the Library both displays copyright notices prominently at the places where copying is done by posting a copyright notice there and by using notices on the order forms where copy requests are initiated.
  4. the Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order, if in our judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
  5. Section 108(g)(2) further provides that requests must not be in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for purchase or subscriptions.
CONTU guidelines

CONTU guidelines were developed by the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyright Works to assist librarians in understanding the amount of photocopying for use in interlibrary loan arrangements permitted under the copyright law. These Guidelines interpret what was to become the proviso in Section 108(g)(2) of copyright law dealing with "systematic reproduction." Subsection 108(g)(2) prohibits systematic photocopying of copyrighted materials but permits interlibrary arrangements "that do not have, as their purpose or effect, that the library or archives receiving such copies or phonorecords for distribution does so in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of the work." It is important that on no account should photocopying be done to avoid subscribing to a periodical/journal or to avoid purchasing a copyrighted work.

  1. CONTU Guidelines for copying from periodicals for interlibrary loan purposes apply only to recent materials less than five years old  (five years prior from the date of the request).
  2. Up to five articles from the same periodical, (journal title as opposed to an individual journal issue), may be copied in one calendar year.
  3. A library with a subscription for a periodical that is not immediately available may consider a copy obtained from another library as if made from its own collection.
  4. All interlibrary loan requests must be accompanied by a copyright compliance statement from the requesting library. The requesting library must maintain records (for 3 years) of all requests and of their fulfillment.
  5. No more than six copies of articles/chapters/small portions may be made from a non-periodical (including a book) during the entire term of the copyright of the work.

For copying beyond the CONTU Guidelines, the library may need to obtain copyright permission directly from the copyright holder or from a copyright clearing house.

Stephens College Library Interlibrary Loan will not fill requests from other libraries for articles from journal titles that are only available through our online databases.

Notification of compliance for journal articles

Stephens College Library includes a notice of copyright compliance for the journal articles or other documents that it sends through document delivery, including e-mail attachment, fax, articles sent through postal mail, campus mail, delivery courier, or for articles printed from the online databases.


Certain provisions within the copyright law allow libraries and archives to make copies (up to three copies in certain circumstances) for purposes of preservation, replacing obsolete formats, or for replacement of lost, damaged, deteriorating or stolen materials. The Library must follow certain guidelines to be in compliance with these section 108 privileges. One such restriction on these preservation-related copies is that these materials may only be used/viewed in the Library.

Link to Section 108 of the Copyright Act dealing with Limitations on exclusive rights: reproduction by libraries and archives. 

Copyright and computers in the library

Library policy toward computer use

Stephens College Library follows and conforms to the Computing Policies and Guidelines that are posted by the Information and Technology Services department at Stephens College. All new users of computers on Stephens College campus are required to acknowledge on an agreement form that they will comply with the stipulations outlined before using the computers and computer services that Stephens College has to offer. By reading and consenting to this agreement you have agreed to abide by all federal laws including the copyright laws of the United States.

The online databases that the library subscribes to for the use of Stephens College students, staff, and faculty allow printing of an article or articles for purposes of research and teaching. Our licensing agreements allow one copy per patron of each needed article. Only Stephens College community members (whether on campus or off-campus) will be able to access the databases to search for articles and to print off copies of articles or other documents that they find there. Students and faculty may need to go through their Course Management Accounts or the Stephens Gateway/Portal to access the Library's databases from off campus.

Inappropriate reproduction of documents or articles from these databases would include posting the article to a web page, or copying/reproducing and sharing the document with others without permission.

Stephens College Library Interlibrary Loan will not fill requests from other libraries for articles from journals that are only available through our online databases.

Additional policies related to copyright and computers

For additional information regarding copyright policies pertaining to computers or online services, please contact the College's IT department (573) 876-2381. They can provide information about current copyright policies relating to federal law, Stephens College, or the College's Internet service provider. They can field topics such as file sharing, downloading programs or files, copyright on the Internet, and appropriate use of Canvas course management software.

General Copyright links

U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright Basics

The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance, The Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Quick Guide, Columbia University

Copyright Information Center, Cornell University

Fair Use, Copyright Crash Course, The University of Texas

Fair Use Checklist

Copyright and Fair Use, Stanford University Libraries

When U.S. works pass into the public domain, Lolly Gasaway's chart

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, Peter Hirtle

Links to Copyright Laws

U.S. Code, Copyright

The section of the United States law covering copyright is, U.S. Copyright Act, Title 17 U.S. Code. Copyright law lays out the rights of the copyright owner/holder, duration of copyright, "Fair Use" exceptions, and what constitutes infringement and the remedies involved. The sites below link to copies of the law in either html or pdf versions.

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act

Public Law 105-298, 10/27/98, amends U.S. Code title 17, ch . 3. It extended the duration of copyright protection to the copyright holder/owner. Use the link "When U.S. works pass into the public domain" for further information about duration of copyright.

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension, Enacted legislation

When U.S. works pass into the public domain, Lolly Gasaway's chart

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act, DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, (DMCA) (P.L. 105-304), helps copyright holders of digital materials protect their digital content by forbidding circumvention of digital protections. DMCA has provisions protecting copyright management information such as the title of a work, the name of the author or copyright holder and other identifying information. Intentionally removing, circumventing, or altering either the technological restrictions or controls (i.e. passwords or encryption) or the copyright management information is illegal. Certain exceptions apply in the case of libraries or archives that may need to make copies for purposes of preservation, or for research purposes falling within "Fair Use." The DMCA also provides limited liability for university networks acting as internet service providers (ISPs) for students and faculty providing that certain requirements are met.

A summary of DMCA by the U.S. Copyright Office

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 (long)


The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002, amended section 110(2). The language for the new provisions is convoluted and complex. It does gives faculty and librarians further options under the law concerning performance in the classroom as well as copyright for distance education applications including performance and display. Faculty may wish to familiarize themselves with the issues involved and print off the checklists below before performing copyrighted works in a classroom setting or for distance education.

Basic TEACH Act checklist