Meera Nair

Librarians and Mothers

In Posts on May 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

I had the pleasure of chatting with librarians on Friday, yet I always leave such events with the same guilty feeling I have after spending time with my mother. Librarians and mothers look after us, even when we don’t know that they are doing it. And on those days (many in my case) when I explicitly ask for help from either party – I get far more than I had imagined possible.

So this Mother’s Day weekend began with added guilt…

But guilt is a less-than-practical emotion. Theoretically, one should use that same mental energy in a productive fashion. So the solution seems easy enough – give back a little of the wealth of help that keeps coming my way. Well, I tried that with my own mother yesterday. My daughter and I took her out for a shopping session and dinner in an Indian section of town. By the end of it, my groceries had been bought (by Mother), our dinner paid for (by Mother), and I was wearing a pretty new necklace (also courtesy of Mother.) Seriously, I didn’t plan it this way.

Which leaves the library community as my only source of guilt-alleviation. All I can really give are recitations of copyright lore. So here’s one that might be of interest. For fair dealing, librarians can stand in the shoes of their patrons.

Section 30.2 (1) of the Copyright Act / le droit d’auteur states:

30.2 (1) It is not an infringement of copyright for a library, archive or museum or a person acting under its authority to do anything on behalf of any person that the person may do personally under section 29 or 29.1.
30.2 (1) Ne constituent pas des violations du droit d’auteur les actes accomplis par une bibliothèque, un musée ou un service d’archives ou une personne agissant sous l’autorité de ceux-ci pour une personne qui peut elle-même les accomplir dans le cadre des articles 29 et 29.1.

Canadians were reminded of this in 2002 through the Court of Appeals’ iteration of CCH Canadian. In the final round of CCH Canadian, in 2004, the Supreme Court Justices also brought attention to Section 30.2 (1). Paragraph 83 of that decision states:

In 1999, amendments to the Copyright Act came into force allowing libraries, archives and museums to qualify for exemptions against copyright infringement: S.C. 1997, c. 24. Under s. 30.2(1), a library or persons acting under its authority may do anything on behalf of any person that the person may do personally under the fair dealing exceptions to copyright infringement.

Today I don’t have to cook. The leftovers from yesterday’s feast are in my fridge (along with the added treats M. bought us from the sweet shop). Must make a phone call now…

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