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Library Resources as Course Materials

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Finding Library Ebooks for Course Materials

The library has purchased individual ebooks, and subscribed to packages of ebooks that can be used as course materials. We'll cover streaming media in the next lesson. Not all library ebooks are well suited to being required texts for a course - some ebooks have a limited use license, allowing only one or three simultaneous users.  Some ebooks have an unlimited user license, allowing an unlimited number of simultaneous users.  Adopting a limited user license ebook as a course text is a recipe for frustration for students as they encounter the "Material in use, please try later"message when all user seats are engaged. The OneSearch catalog record, and often the ebook splash page will alert you to the number of people who can access an item at the same time. Additionally, OneSearch has filters to help you identify ebook and Open Access content.

If you do find a relevant library ebook or Open Educational Resource to replace a commercial textbook, we ask that you fill out the Library Ebooks OR Open Educational Resources (OER) Used in a Course form below. 

Tips for Searching OneSearch

  • Limit by Available Online and Book (widest search) or Open Access (very narrow search)
  • When limiting by Available Online and Book, check the record for user limits in the Public Note
    • Unlimited user access is the preferred option
    • if there is no user access note, click through to the ebook splash page to see if the user limit is noted there
  • If you do more than one search, lock your limiters so that they persist from search to search

What about copyright and Fair Use when using library materials in my course?

In your course, if you are merely providing links or embed code to the material (YouTube, library database, OneSearch, etc.), you are not violating copyright. Please do not download a book, article, or media file and upload it to your course unless it is an OER with an explicit Creative Commons license, or you have written permission from the copyright holder. Online library materials are licensed to be linked to for course use, and for individual/personal printing/downloads. Scanning physical library materials (DVDs or books) is a violation of copyright.  The services we subscribe to track usage and provide us with usage data that helps us make purchasing and renewal decisions.

The Student Ability Success Center (SASC) handles providing accessibility accommodations, and they will handle any copyright issues associated with providing video and audio transcripts.

If you have any questions about fair use in the classroom at SDSU, feel free to contact Kate Holvoet in the library.  You can also walk through a Fair Use assessment for any copyrighted material you are considering using in class to see if your intended use falls within Fair Use. Columbia University has a well known Fair Use Checklist that they have made available to the public.