Trexler Library Copyright Compliance Policy and Procedures

Policy Statement

In addition to complying with the Muhlenberg College Copyright Policy, Trexler Library adheres to a more specific policy with regard to electronic reserves and interlibrary loan.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is

  • To provide guidance on copyrighted works and ownership with regard to interlibrary loan and reserves.
  • To promote the ethical use of information in compliance with copyright law.


Trexler Library attempts to remain within the following guidelines:

Electronic Reserves

In accordance with fair use (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act) and the TEACH Act, electronic reserve systems may include copyrighted materials at the request of a course instructor.

  1. Electronic reserve systems may include short items (such as an article from a journal, a chapter from a book or conference proceedings, or a poem from a collected work) or excerpts from longer items in an amount in accordance with fair use or the TEACH Act. In the event an instructor wishes to post more than the allotted amount, permission will customarily be sought, or an alternative point of access recommended, such as a purchased coursepack.
  2. Streaming of music and videos will originate from a legally obtained copy, in an amount in accordance with fair use or the TEACH Act.
  3. E-reserves should typically serve as a supplement to purchased textbooks or coursepacks. As such, the total amount of material included in electronic reserve systems for a specific course as a matter of fair use should be small in proportion to the total assigned reading for a particular course, except in the event that core readings are not readily available for purchase.
  4. In general, the library does not seek permission for copyrighted materials for which it has obtained license to distribute, such as online journal articles from databases.
  5. On a preliminary or introductory screen, electronic reserve systems should display a notice of copyright.
  6. Materials included in electronic reserve systems should include appropriate citations or attributions to their sources.
  7. Electronic reserve systems should be structured to limit access to students registered in the course for which the items have been placed on reserve, and to instructors and staff responsible for the course or the electronic system.
  8. Students should not be charged specifically or directly for access to electronic reserve systems.
  9. Access to the files shall be disabled at the completion of the course, but the files may be stored for future re-use. Short-term access to materials included on electronic reserve systems in previous academic terms may be provided to students who have not completed the course.

Interlibrary Loan

With regard to interlibrary loan, the library strives to follow CONTU Guidelines on photocopying for purposes of interlibrary loan.


When requesting a copy of an article from a journal issue or a small part of another work, as requesting party, the library must comply with Sections 108(d) & (g) and the CONTU Guidelines:

  • The copy must become the property of the patron;
  • The library should have no notice that the copy will be used for a purpose other than private study, scholarship or research;
  • The library should both display and have on its order form a "Warning of Copyright."
  • The library must not be aware or have substantial reason to believe it is engaging in related or concerted reproduction or distribution of multiple copies of the same material;
  • Since the CONTU Guidelines apply to periodicals and small parts of other works, the library must make its request with a representation that it has complied with copyright law and the Guidelines;
  • The library will pay royalties on any copy of a periodical article that exceeds the "suggestion of five;"
  • The library will maintain its records of the request for three years.

Copyright Compliance Procedures

For more information on copyright, contact the library’s Coordinator of Scholarly Communication, x3602 or For legal advice, contact the college’s legal counsel through the Provost’s Office.

Reviewed 2021