With a new semester coming around, it’s as good a time as any to draw general attention to a very useful service that’s available to all instructors or teaching assistants with access to the Blackboard online virtual learning environment at NUI Galway. Since 2010 our license with the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency has been extended to allow the scanning of library material for Blackboard, with some restrictions.
We can scan up to 5% of any library book (or a single chapter, whichever comes first) and make it available on specific Blackboard courses in high-quality, searchable PDF format. The service also applies to articles from print journals in the library – a single article or 5% of the issue. We can upload as many different chapters to your Blackboard course as you like – as long as no two chapters come from the same book.
This all follows on from the library’s Reading List Support Service. Every year, instructors are invited to submit the reading list for their course to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that staff can check the availability of course material in the library. Where necessary, the library can order extra copies of books, or, in the case of high-demand titles, put some on short loan. If requested, the digitisation centre can scan individual chapters for Blackboard under the guidelines laid out above.
Interested parties are welcome to contact me; alternatively you can request chapters for scanning via our web help desk. There’s more detailed information about our scanning service at the Chapter Scanning FAQ.
(Unfortunately for legal reasons we can’t send scanned library material directly to users, and we are for the present limited to posting chapters on Blackboard only. Other open-source VLEs such as PBLearn or Moodle aren’t currently supported.)