LIBRARIANS’ AWARENESS AND APPLICATION OF THE COPYRIGHT LAW IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN EDO STATE OF NIGERIA
The study was conducted to investigate the librarians’ awareness and application of copyright law in academic libraries in Edo State. A descriptive survey design was adopted in carrying out the study. The total population for this study was fifty nine (59) academic librarians. Five research questions guided the study. Instrument for data collection was questionnaire. A total of fifty nine (59) copies of questionnaire were distributed to the librarians, out of which 50 copies were duely filled and found valid returned, representing 84.7%. Data was analysed using frequency tables, simple percentages and mean scores. From the analysis, the findings revealed that librarians in academic libraries in Edo State are aware of the copyright law and as well have working knowledge of the law. The result showed that librarians on the average duplicate more than three copies of scarce materials held in their libraries and that libraries do not destroy reproduced materials for educational purpose before the end of the prescribed period of one calendar year academic, libraries in Edo State do not engage in cooperative acquisition, that cooperative acquisition tend to cut down subscription and cost of acquisition of library materials. The study discovered that the Nigerian copyright law has not provided adequate guidelines to aid librarians in implementation of the law, and that the copyright law is ineffectual by the slow and expensive litigation process. From the findings of the study it showed that inclusion of copyright information in library orientation lectures for new students and inclusion of copyright law and other legal issues in librarianship curriculum are necessary. Based on the research findings, it was recommended that the Nigerian Copyright Commission and law Reform Commission should consider giving powers to libraries to enforce certain aspects of the law, people waiting to copy copyrighted works should be made to fill copying request forms, these forms must bear “copyright warning”. The study also recommended that copies of the law should be made available to all libraries by the Nigerian copyright Commission or their prices should be subsidized to the barest minimum for libraries to acquire, copyright information should be included in library orientation lectures for new students to create awareness and consequently motivate compliance. The study concluded that institution libraries should be well funded to be able to acquire relevant and sufficient books and journals to meet the needs of the users.