Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Chat loading...

Adler University Library Policies: Fair Use

Adler University Library's policies on: borrowing (including fines/fees, recalls & holds), eResources usage, interlibrary loan, course reserves, copyright compliance, donations/gifts

Contact us

Harold & Birdie Mosak Library- Chicago
17 North Dearborn, 15th floor
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-662-4230
Library Email

Adler University Library-Online 
Phone: 312-662-4316

Adler University Learning Commons - Vancouver
520 Seymour Str., 3rd floor

Vancouver, BC

V6B 3J5

Phone: 236-521-2405
Library Email

Library hours


Fall, Spring Summer I semesters (Central Time)
Monday 9am - 7pm 
Tuesday 9am - 3pm
Wednesday 9am - 7pm
Thursdays 9m - 7pm 
Fri 9am - 5pm
Sat 12pm - 4pm 

Sun  Library Closed

Summer II and breaks
Mon - Thurs 9am - 5pm (CT)
Fri - Sun - Library Closed

Online Campus

When Online Campus classes are in session
Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm (CT)
Other times by arrangement, email the Online Campus Librarian for an appointment.


Spring  2016
Monday 9:00 - 5:00
Tuesday 9:00 - 6:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 6:00
Thursday 10:00 - 6:00
Friday 9:00 - 5:00
Saturday 11:00 - 2:00

Sunday closed


What is fair use?

Fair Use refers to a provision in the US Copyright Act, Section 107 (Title 17, US Code), which states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.  In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon the consideration of all the above factors. In order to qualify for Fair Use, the material in question must be weighed against the four factors listed above. Because no hard and fast rules for fair use compliance exist, all decisions concerning fair use must be carefully documented. The Library staff will assist faculty in determining whether usage of Library materials is fair, and documenting the factors for and against fair use as outlined above, on case-by-case basis.

How does the Library determine if a use is fair?

When interpreting the four factors of the Fair Use provisions outlined in the Copyright Act, §107 (Title 17, US Code), the Library uses a slightly more detailed version of the following rubric to make decisions on what materials may be used without permission.

May be Fair Use: Ask for Permission:
Character of the Use Private, educational, nonprofit Commercial, public entertainment
Nature of the work Published fact Creative work (published or unpublished)
Amount/substantiality used Small percentage of whole work;
Portions used are not central to work as a whole
Large percentage of whole work;
Portions used are central to the work as a whole
Effect on potential market Single use (one semester or class);
Small audience;
Spontaneous use
Multiple use (multiple semesters or classes);
Large public audience;
Systematic and continuing use

Faculty members may also wish to consult the Resources for Teaching Faculty section of the Know Your Copy Rights: Using Copyrighted Works in Academic Settings website, maintained by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

Another resource on Fair Use is the January 2012 ARL Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, a clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The Code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University.

Please note that the guidelines and information above are not meant to constitute legal advice.