Library Photocopy Policies

Library Photocopy Policies

Blessings Amina Akporhonor (Delta State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2136-7.ch049


The purpose of this chapter is to discuss library photocopy policies. It gives the meaning of photocopy, methods of photocopy, photocopy policies and copyright law as applicable to library photocopy. It is noted in the chapter that photocopy and its policy will continue to be part of the library as long as materials in printed format are available and provided to users.
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The term “reprography”, according to ALA world encyclopedia of library and information (1980), is used to describe the technology of reproducing two dimensional visual communication media in administrative, business and institutional corporation. The major types of reprography include microcopy, photocopy and duplicating. In this chapter we are concern with photocopy. The Unabridged Webster’s 3rd Edition International Dictionary (1966) defines photocopy as a negative or positive photographic reproduction of graphic matter as drawing or printing. From the above definitions the following characteristics of photocopy can be deduced:

  • 1.

    Photocopy involves the use of photographic technology to reproduce copies directly from the original document;

  • 2.

    Photocopy also involves the use of technology that is similar to photography to reproduce copies directly from the original document;

  • 3.

    Photocopy does not require the preparation of master copy before it could be carried out;

  • 4.

    Photocopies are such that could be read with the naked eyes; and

  • 5.

    Photocopies are the replica of the original materials produced without the preparation of master plates.

In different parts of the world, many scholars use the photocopy method of reprography to reproduce educational materials, especially textbooks and journals (Latman, 1963).

According to Adomi (2009), photocopiers are used in libraries and information centre for the following purposes:

  • To enable patrons make copies of parts of books and serials

  • To prevent theft and mutilation of materials

  • For document delivery

  • Income generation

  • Preservation of certain resources

Photocopy enables libraries to protect and preserve information resources. It also assists library users to make copies of materials for home use.


Methods Of Photocopying

According to Okwilagwe (2001), the methods of photocopy are optical copying and contact copying.

Optical copying: This method of copying involves the use of the lens to form an image of the document that is being copied. The product could be different size. It could be an enlargement, the same size or a reduction of the original document. The basic principles behind optical copying is that it involves the use of the camera to copy documents.

Contact copying: This method of copying refers to the process whereby the original document and the sensitized material are placed in a very close contact possible and then exposed to light or heat. The product is usually of the same size as the original. There are two processes involved in contact copying. These are: direct copying and reflex copying.

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