We first learned of Digital Access Librarian Sue Kunda’s deep knowledge of fair use of copyrighted material at a WIC lunch last May. Sue’s insightful questions about visual literacy and her contributions on fair use of images led us to invite her to write an article on fair use for this newsletter. In her article "Helping Students Make Sense of Fair Use," Sue shares information that will strengthen teaching and writing at OSU. Students who borrow text and images from sources need instruction in fair and ethical use of the material, instruction they will need to receive from their WIC teachers. Sue Kunda gives us a fair use primer—perfect for our spring courses.
U.S. Copyright Law grants a number of exclusive rights to copyright owners, but those rights have various limitations. One of those limitations, fair use, is both a blessing and a curse for educators. It’s a blessing because it gives us the right to use copyrighted materials without seeking permission from the copyright owner, but it can also be a curse due to misunderstandings and misinformation regarding fair use. Making matters worse is the circulation of various sets of classroom “guidelines” – on university and library websites – that have never been part of copyright legislation and are therefore, not legally binding. In fact, most classroom copyright guidelines are much too restrictive and, if followed to the letter, can erode and impair the educational mission of the University.
The number of international students (L2 learners) on American campuses is increasing. Their cultural and language proficiency make it challenging for them to meet academic expectations in courses designed for domestic (L1) speakers. For L2 learners, these expectations constitute a distinct cultural bias, and they are caught in a double bind. First, the assignments contain cultural content “designed with American students in mind” (Cox, 2011). Second, the evaluation of L2 student writing does not take into account written accent and the language acquisition process. These biases present very real barriers to student learning. As WIC faculty, we need to make sure that our assignments are not inherently biased.
We are excited and enthusiastic to announce the topics, guest speakers, and schedule for the WIC Spring 2013 Lunches. This spring, all lunches will be held in Milam 215 from noon to 1 p.m. If you would like to RSVP for any particular one, please click the "Register for this seminar here" text following the description of the seminar you wish to attend; you may of course register for more than one seminar. If you have any questions regarding the seminars, please contact Zach Pajak at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, delicious pizza, beverages, and other snacks are on us!
As spring term arrives, please remember to nominate outstanding undergraduate student essays for a WIC Culture of Writing Award. Recognizing exceptional student writing communicates to our students and the university that good writing matters in every discipline. Participating units (schools, departments) seek nominations from the faculty and select the best paper. WIC then awards $50 matching funds to each unit for the writing prize winner. What a great way to acknowledge the hard-work and talent of our undergraduate writers!