University of Wisconsin–Madison

Copyright for Librarians

New technologies give rise to incredible new possibilities for libraries and the communities they serve – and yet, copyright law sometimes seems to get in the way of realizing all those exciting new potentials. In this course you’ll get a solid grounding in the basics of copyright law, with particular attention to legal issues relevant to libraries. You’ll also have opportunities to explore specific issues of interest to you in your daily work.

At a glance

When: Jan 22 – Mar 3
Where: Online
Cost: $200 (10% discount if you register by Jan 7!)
CE Credit: 2.0 CEUs/20 LEUs
Program: #304019

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

Register online

Register by phone: Pyle Center, (608) 262-2451

Register by fax or mail: Print out a registration form

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins

Course details


  • Copyright history and theory
  • Basics of the US legal system
  • Basics of copyright law
  • Library & education exemptions
  • Fair use
  • How contracts/licenses and copyright interact
  • Institutional risk tolerance and decision making
  • Communicating about copyright with colleagues, and with library users


Regular participation in online discussions about readings; brief assignments/exercises in pairs; small final project applicable to your daily work.


Nancy Sims is the Copyright Librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She is both a librarian (MLIS, Rutgers) and an attorney (JD, UMich; member of the MN bar), and she is fascinated by all the ways copyright increasingly intertwines with daily life activities.