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School Libraries: Using Book Covers

Copying Book Covers for Promotional Purposes

School libraries commonly  copy and communicate  book covers for promotional purposes such as promoting library programs, book week or book reviews.

Under the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Book Covers Agreement (the Book Covers Agreement) libraries, including libraries within schools and other educational institutions, are allowed to use book covers for promotional purposes.
This means that school libraries do not need to request permission or provide payment to use the copyright material contained on book covers. 
The Book Covers Agreement allows school libraries to copy and communicate book covers to publicly promote books on posters, library displays, library catalogues, bookmarks, other marketing materials, websites and social media platforms. 
Under this Agreement, school libraries can do the following when promoting books to students, parents and the wider community:

  • Copy book covers for display in libraries;
  • Copy book covers in a school newsletter;
  • Copy book covers on a school website or via social media platforms (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).

For further information, please see: https://www.alia.org.au/copyright-and-book-covers

Library copying exceptions

Libraries are permitted to copy and communicate book covers for special administration of the collection. This exception allows libraries to copy and communicate book covers for cataloguing purposes. A common example is copying a thumbnail image in a library catalogue.

For more information on Library Copying Provisions, see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/library-and-disability-copying/3-1-library-copying.

Copying of book covers for educational purposes

It is important to note that the Book Cover Agreement does not cover the use of book covers by teachers and schools for educational purposes.  Teachers and schools can copy and communicate book covers in either hard copy or digital formats for educational purposes under the Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence. Under this Licence, schools can print a book cover from a website (e.g. Publisher website, Amazon or Good Reads) for students or upload a copy of a book cover to a Digital Teaching Environment (DTE) for student to access via password protected system.

For more information on the Statutory Text and Artistic Works Licence see https://www.smartcopying.edu.au/copyright-guidelines/education-licences-(statutory-and-voluntary-licences)/education-licence-b-statutory-text-and-artistic-licence.

See also: Copyright in the Digital Teaching Environment Schools