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UBC Publications

UBC Library News 1969-02

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Volume II, No. 2
February, 1969
Vancouver, B.C.
This newsletter appears once a month as an information service for faculty and other people outside the Library. It contains
feature articles and news items about developments in the Library system which we feel will be of interest or concern to the
larger community. The News welcomes all comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future articles.
By early February, a much-needed student guide to the U.B.C. Library will be available for distribution. The large illustrated
handbook covers all major aspects of the university library system, and includes detailed sections on use of the card catalogue,
location file, and periodical indexes. Students working on assignments due later this term will find it especially useful.
Copies may bo obtained from public service and reference desks throughout the Library system. Publicity notices will appear
in the Ubyssey, but the Library would be grateful if faculty members would also make a point of telling their students about the
The Information Division is now preparing a similar library guide especially for faculty. The publication date will be
announced in a later issue of the Library News.
In 1966, the University Librarian issued a document entitled A Plan For Future Library Services. Since then, however, it has
become obvious that U.B.C. will have to handle a far greater number of students in the next few years than had been expected.
A revised edition of the Plan has therefore been drawn up, and will be presented to the Committee on Academic Planning Needs
on February 5th. A summary of the contents will appear in next month's Library News.
The Library has agreed to display recent publications by U.B.C. faculty. Faculty members are invited to submit a copy of
their recent books for display and for preservation in the University Archives.
Because of the volume of material available, please send in only separate monographic publications. These should be directed
to the Special Collections Division, where they will be permanently housed after the display.
Near the end of January six new catalogue cabinets were installed in the Main Concourse, permitting the expansion and
resumption of filing in the Author-Title Catalogue.
A new project has been started to make this catalogue more consistent and easier to use: title cards are now being typed
retrospectively for books which previously lacked them. Until last year, author, title, and subject cards were interfiled in one
large dictionary catalogue. As a result, title cards were not made if they were worded the same as a subject heading (e.g. Religion
and Science) or the first part of a cross-reference to another subject heading (e.g. Religion and education SEE Church and
Now that the subject headings are filed in a separate catalogue, these title cards are needed in the Author-Title Catalogue.
Typing and filing have begun, and should be completed by summer. From now on, all newly received books in this category will
be given title cards during cataloguing.
The Library's practice for subject-related titles beginning "Introduction to. .., Outline..., Handbook. ..," etc., has been
inconsistent. Missing title cards here are also being typed, but filing will not start until all typing has been completed.
The Library's Lost and Found service has recently moved from the Main Loan Desk to the Information Desk in the Main Concourse. Articles will be held here for one week only; each Friday noon all unclaimed items will be sent over to the central
Lost and Found in the Student Union Building.
Please note: lost library cards and articles found after 10 p.m. should still be turned in at the Main Loan Desk.
Last month's issue of the Library News stated erroneously that a donation of $1,025 had come to the Library from the late
Miss Mabel G.J. Johnston. We have since learned that the money was a gift from Miss Islay Johnston in memory of her sister. It
will be used to purchase books on Indian and Eskimo culture.
Because of its speed and low cost, photocopying is widely used in a number of other library processes. Some (but by no
means all) are listed below.
1)    Acquisitions.
-Duplicating order cards and invoices
As recently as 15 years ago, it was a rare library indeed which contained even one photocopying machine. Today, however,
photocopying is so much a part of the library scene that few of us realize just how brief its history has been.
The U.B.C. Library, for instance, did not install its first Xerox copier until 1962. Even then there was some doubt as to
whether the expense involved would be justified by use. As it turned out, the librarians need not have worried. In the first year
of operation, receipts from that one machine totalled $10,000.
Since 1962 the number of photocopiers has increased steadily as the Library attempts to keep up with growing demands.
Currently there are 15 machines operating in libraries around the campus: 4 in the Main Library, 2 in Sedgewick, Woodward and
the Curriculum Laboratory, and 1 apiece in the downtown Biomedical Branch, Law, Music, Forestry/Agriculture and Social
Work Libraries.
The number of copies produced has risen phenomenally over the last few years, as these figures show:
1965/66 1966/67 1967/68 Qct-Dec. 1968
402,410 532,000 871,110 406,120
It seems almost certain that this year's total will exceed one million copies, or roughly 50 for every student and faculty
member at the university.
What lies behind this exploding demand for photocopied material? We must remember, first of all, that two distinct groups
use the Library copiers: faculty and students on the one hand, and Library staff on the other. As we will see, their needs differ
To students and faculty doing research, photocopying is, more than anything else, a means of saving valuable time. When it
takes fifteen minutes to copy a printed page by hand and only one minute to reproduce that same page mechanically, it is no
wonder that library users turn to the machine. For five or ten cents they can buy not only a far more legible copy but a full
fourteen minutes of working time. What used to be a day's work can now be completed in less than an hour. As a result, library
closing hours and loan restrictions are far less of a handicap to users today than they were before the advent of the photocopier.
The U.B.C. Library staff, too, is becoming increasingly dependent on photocopying. Rapid growth in student enrolment,
combined with more emphasis on outside reading, has created an unprecedented demand for library materials. Unfortunately,
this comes at a time when money and shelf space are already at a premium. Without some system for fast, inexpensive copying
of printed materials, it is doubtful that the Library could continue to give efficient service on its present budget.
Photocopying has done much to reduce the money spent on duplicate copies of books and journals. For one thing, the
Library can now reproduce brief required readings, such as journal articles and extracts from books, without having to order
additional copies of each source volume. Secondly, lost or mutilated pages can be copied and restored for a fraction of what it
would cost to replace the entire book or journal. Finally, as more and more library users abandon note-taking for fast machine
copying, there is some decrease in the number of duplicate copies of a title needed to satisfy a given number of readers.
Mechanical copying has also made the interlibrary loan system more efficient. Copied material can now be mailed out to
borrowers while the original remains free to circulate locally; and, by the same token, U.B.C. researchers can borrow
photocopies from other libraries which would have refused to lend the original.
o n
2) Cataloguing.
-Providing copies of title pages for use in original cataloguing
-Reproducing catalogue cards
-Duplicating pages from the cataloguing manual for staff use
3) Circulation.
-Printing overdue notices for books not in the IBM system
-Listing reserve books by means of photocopied course file cards
4) Government publications.
-Duplicating documents needed to fill out incomplete files
5) Sedgewick Library.
-Reproducing contents pages of current journals for quick reference
-Duplicating new order slips for a current file by title
In less than ten years, photocopying has become an indispensible part of the U.B.C. Library system. The 1966/67 Report of
the Librarian to the Senate put it even more strongly:
"To librarians everywhere working in an era of mass education, it now seems unthinkable that libraries can meet their
responsibilities without the modern copying machine."
There is every reason to believe that as photocopying becomes faster, easier, better and cheaper, the volume and range of its
use within the Library will continue to grow.
But the prospect is not entirely a happy one—not, at any rate, for publishers, authors, librarians, or lawyers. Under Canada's
present Copyright Act, much of the copying done by or for library users is illegal and leaves the person responsible for the
copying technically open to prosecution. As photocopying becomes even more widespread, and violations of the Act more
flagrant, libraries which offer copying services without controls and without the obtaining of individual permission from
copyright owners can expect increased opposition on the part of authors and publishers. If and when the Copyright Act is
revised, it is hard to say whether library photocopying will be allowed to continue on the same scale as it has up till now. Many
librarians doubt that any new Act will allow as much freedom in the reproduction of copyrighted materials as is taken for
granted at present.
The last completely revised Canadian Copyright Act was passed in 1921, long before the development of the modern copying
machine. Even with successive amendments since then, mechanical copying has not been explicitly dealt with. The most recent
consolidation of the Act and its amendments may be found in Chapter 55 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1952; but the
relevant sections are given below:
3. (1)  For the purposes of this Act, "copyright" means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial
part thereof in any material form whatsoever. (Emphasis mine.)
The term for which copyright shall subsist shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by this Act, be the life of
the author and a period of fifty years after his death.
17.(2)The following acts do not constitute an infringement of copyright:
(a) any fair dealing with any work for the purpose of primate research, criticism, review, or newspaper summary.
Unfortunately, nowhere does the Act define "fair dealing" or suggest how much of a work constitutes "a substantial
part". Yet the meaning of these rather nebulous terms is of the greatest importance to libraries wishing to stay within the law.
It would presumably not be an infringement to copy one stanza from a ten-stanza poem, but what about duplicating an entire
chapter from a ten-chapter book? Is it "fair dealing" to photocopy a complete article from a copyrighted journal? Most
important, does the "fair dealing" clause really give a library the right to make copies for people engaged in private study and
research? A rule-of-thumb definition of "fair dealing" has developed through precedent and common sense, although it may not
be watertight in a court. It allows an individual to make a single photocopy of material for his private use in lieu of his personal
hand-copying. A 1968 Canadian study suggests that unless the library itself intends to use the copies it makes, it has no legal
right to make them without first obtaining permission from the copyright owner.
Librarians themselves disagree on what does or does not constitute infringement of copyright. As a group, however, they
generally favour a liberal interpretation of the Copyright Act in the interests of public service. They argue that the library's
function is to provide materials for research, and that the use of library material necessarily involves making some kind of copy,
either mental, manual, or mechanical, No one has ever questioned the right of students and researchers to hand-copy any
extracts they may need. It is argued that making a copy for the same purpose using a mechanical copier is equally justified, and
that the only real difference is the speed with which the material is reproduced. Most librarians hold the view that if a reader has the right to make notes for his own use, he also has the right to have them
made for him. By providing photocopies on request, the library is merely acting as an agent for the researcher, and therefore
cannot be held responsible for any infringement of copyright.
Librarians can also point to the results of recent U.S. studies, which indicate that single copies of library material can be
provided without measurable economic harm to authors or publishers. Indeed, there is some evidence that wide circulation of
photocopied journal articles, particularly in the sciences, actually adds to the reputation of both the author and the journal.
Since so many of these articles are published without payment in the first place, the circulation of photocopies does not harm
the author; and the publisher may even find that subscriptions increase as the journal becomes more widely known.
However, libraries are less sure of their ground when it comes to providing multiple copies of periodical articles or portions of
books for circulation. In many cases such copying has been restricted to journal articles, but only 5 out of 31 major Canadian
university libraries have ruled it out completely. The majority feel that the library has an obligation to make needed materials
available as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that frequently multiple photocopying is the only practical answer.
Not surprisingly, authors, publishers, and booksellers oppose a liberal interpretation of the Copyright Act. They argue that
instead of merely being a labour-saving substitute for hand-copying, mechanical copiers have made it possible to duplicate
material so quickly and extensively that they are now competing with the printing press and the bookstore. This group feels
that, unless the Copyright Act is strictly enforced, the demand for legitimately published copies may fall off to such an extent
that booksellers may be put out of business and publishers may have to cease producing works of marginal economic prospect,
however valuable to scholarship. This would, of course, have detrimental effects on both the authors and the users of books.
Librarians have maintained that as long as they merely provide the means for library users to make photocopies, they cannot
themselves be guilty of infringement of copyright. Most authors and publishers discount this argument, pointing out that copies
are never made without a charge, and that the library is therefore supplying copies as a commercial enterprise. "Even if the
enterprise loses money," one writer adds, "this principle of a commercial transaction would still apply."
On these grounds, authors' and publishers' groups claim that it is the library's duty under the Copyright Act to impose strict
controls on library duplication of coyprighted material, whether it is done for circulation, for individual readers, or by the
readers themselves. The author's consent must be obtained before more than short extracts from his work are copied; and if
permission is not given, it is up to the library to see that the material is not photocopied.
All these arguments for and against present library copying practices would carry more weight if the opinions were based on
actual court decisions. As yet, however, no Canadian librarian has even been brought to trial for infringement of the Copyright
Act through photocopying. Until the Act itself is revised, with specific amendments covering library photocopying, or until
there are some court decisions to use as guidelines, libraries which offer copying services cannot be altogether sure of their status
under the law.
By way of protection, many libraries now put a stamp on their photocopies to indicate that they were made for research
purposes only, and not for further reproduction. Others issue photocopies only in return for a signed statement that they will be
used for research or private study.
Publishers' and authors' groups, however, are asking for tighter controls, at least until the Copyright Act is amended. Most
favour some form of national clearinghouse to grant licenses for the reproduction of all copyrighted works and to collect and
distribute royalties. So far there has been less pressure in this direction from Canadian authors and publishers than from those in
the United States, where the copyright law is also badly in need of revision, and where some publishers have already filed suits
against libraries for illegal copying. However, the movement on both sides of the border is likely to grow in the absence of any
other effective system of controls over public and institutional photocopying. Since this arrangement would probably require
libraries to pay fees for the privilege of making photocopies, it has not gained wide support from librarians.
A national clearinghouse or licensing system might, of course, prove unnecessary if the present Copyright Act were amended.
To be effective, the new Act would have to specify which types of libraries and institutions should be given copying privileges,
and the limits of these privileges would have to be very clearly defined. Although Canada may eventually have such an Act, it is
hard to predict when. A promising new Copyright Bill was introduced in 1963, but it did not even reach the committee stage.
Until the law is revised to keep up with the changes in copying techniques and public demand, we will almost certainly have no
final answer to the photocopying problem.
..     ■
Editor: Mrs. E. de Bruijn Information & Orientation Division n
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