The law is designed to support teachers, scholars, and librarians, but uncertainty about the scope of the law and the application of specific provisions can leave academic users in the dark. Copyright law privileges scholarly analysis, classroom instruction, and the accumulation, curation, and dissemination of America’s intellectual and cultural materials done by librarians. The First Amendment and privacy laws also recognize the unique role played by academic and library use. As technology has muddied the clear body of law around academic practice and some bad actors have spread misinformation about these issues, we need better information so we can do the socially-valuable work intended by Congress and endorsed by the courts.
By designing tools, consulting with stakeholders, and offering clear-eyed, inspirational instruction, Will is working to make sure that academic users can confidently meet their mission. Will lectures nationally on the way law supports academic practice and has written on both academic perceptions and legal analysis of these issues. He has also developed curricula through the ACRL’s Scholarly Communication Roadshow and a popular course in the University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science. Hands-on exercises, pragmatic strategies, and presentations that introduce these issues with a light touch have made Will a sought-after instructor and speaker.
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