Electronic Audiovisual Reserves FAQ


How long does it take to process electronic course reserves requests, and, how long should one wait before requiring students to access posted reserve content?
Faculty members are encouraged to submit reserve requests at least two weeks prior to when they are needed to allow time for processing, recalling of checked-out items and rush purchase requests (In the majority of cases, digital files are created using physical library items). In cases where all the requested items are readily available at the library, processing will take 3 to 4 days. Reserve lists are processed in the order received.

Can links to content from library databases (such as Naxos Music Library, DRAM, IIMP, or JSTOR) be placed within OAK?
Yes. Links can also be requested via a Reserves Request Form.

Can students download music placed on OAK?
No. Offering copyrighted content for download via course management software or by any other means is illegal. Access to audio content posted by the Music Library is delivered via streaming.

How is streaming content posted by the library delivered in OAK?
Audio content is streamed using Real Media files. A RealPlayer (Windows, Mac, or Linux download) is required to listen.

Are there limits as to what can be streamed?
Yes. Conditions that apply to the digitization and electronic transmission of audio files for course reserves are outlined here. A checklist to assist in a determination of "fair use" is available here. Sara Manus and Holling Smith-Borne can also assist in making fair use determinations.

Additional information on copyright and fair use can also be found through Columbia University Library's Copyright Advisory Office.

Can the library stream audio anthologies that accompany class textbooks?
No. If the cumulative effect of offering access to a work would be to substitute for the purchase of that work, a strong argument can be made against "fair use".

Where can faculty members refer students that are experiencing technical problems with electronic reserves?
Students should be reminded that a RealPlayer (Windows, Mac, or Linux download) is required to play, and should be the default player for, Real Media files. Reports that Real Media files will not play in QuickTime, iTunes, or other media players are usually the sole source of technical complaints from students.

Technical problems may also be referred to Michael Jones or Sara Manus.

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