Trinidad and Tobago: State of the libraries regarding copyright

GLENN-CALLENDER, Juliet, GEORGE, Jennifer, GREENE, Paula, GUISEPPI, Roslyn and ALLEYNE-REGIS, Arlene (2016) Trinidad and Tobago: State of the libraries regarding copyright. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 123 - Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Trinidad and Tobago: State of the libraries regarding copyright

This paper examines how current library practices fit into the copyright legislative system of Trinidad and Tobago and what is taking place in our institutions. What can we do to ensure that practicing librarians make accurate decisions when using copyrighted works and still continue to provide an accepted level of service to users in this digital age? The Copyright Act 1997 of Trinidad and Tobago in its present form does not address routine library uses of copyrighted works especially with regards to limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. Eighteen library professionals from special, school, academic, national, public and Archives were interviewed using open-ended questions and a survey instrument to determine their knowledge of the Copyright Act; the services provided in relation to print and digital works and the various challenges and issues faced in providing quality service while still observing the tenets as stated in the Act. Their responses were analyzed to determine the issues involved, the commonalities among the various library types and useful solutions in moving forward. Based on the analysis of the Copyright Act and interviewees’ responses, the findings revealed that there was no legislative framework to govern the lending of e-resources especially in relation to e-books and articles (not supplied by a commercial database), making digital copies generally, creating digital images of photographs and texts, and creating access to these via the internet. The results also revealed that at least half of the librarians interviewed were unfamiliar with the rules of the Copyright Act. It was concluded that to build familiarity with the laws, library professionals should engage in educational sessions with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and that by working with the IPO, the library’s interests would best be represented via the amendments formulated under the current review of the Copyright Act.

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