Nancy Sims

Copyright Program Librarian

235 Walter Library

Copyright Librarian Blog
UM Libraries Copyright Site

I'm the Libraries' subject specialist on copyright issues. I am a real-live librarian, with long experience working in academic libraries. I'm also a lawyer, and am fascinated by the pervasiveness of copyright issues in modern life.

My job is not to be the "copyright police" on campus, but rather to help individuals and groups throughout the University community understand how copyright may affect their work. To that end, I provide education through our copyright website and workshop programming (see links), custom information sessions on request, and small group and individual consultations. I also work within and outside the University to advocate for policies and practices that support sustainable scholarship, democratic information access, and wide public cultural participation.

I don't provide direct legal representation to individuals, on- or off-campus groups, or the University. I do sometimes help individuals determine when they may need to contact an attorney for themselves, and can help U-M units know when to consult with University legal counsel.

Blog: Copyright Librarian; Twitter: @CopyrightLibn

Workshops taught:

Getting Acquainted with Copyright

Can I Use That? Fair Use in Everyday Life

Register for workshops


JD, University of Michigan Law School

MLIS, Rutgers University

Selected Presentations & Publications

Upcoming/Recent Presentations
"Fair Dealing and Beyond: Making copyright work for educators" Symposium at U of Toronto Law School, 12/2012
“Library Licensing and Criminal Law: The Aaron Swartz Case”, College & Research Libraries News, October 2011.
“Lies, Damned Lies, and Copyright (Mis)Information: Empowering Faculty by Addressing Key Points of Confusion”, ACRL 2011 Conference Paper,

Selected Past Presentations:
"Copyright Empowerment: Sorting through the (Mis)Information", Indiana State University, 10/2012
"Free and Legal Stuff You Can Use!", Indiana State University, 10/2012
"What everyone needs to know about copyrights and their future", Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 10/2012
Copyright Triage for Teachers; Rochester, MN 09/2012
Copyright: What you REALLY Need to Know, Public Library Association Webinar, 06/2012
Copyright 101 Preconference, UMUC Center for Intellectual Property Biennial Symposium, 06/2012
Copyrights, Wrongs & the Creative Commons; panel presentation at Association of Amer Museums Mtg, 05/2012
Remix Revolutions: Trans(il)literacy, Copyright, and Emerging Forms of Scholarship & Critique, MN Library Association ARLD Day, 04/2012
It's Not Paranoia if Your Tech Really Is Out To Get You: Critical thinking about new technologies, Library Technology Conference, 03/2012
Copyright Triage for Librarians, SELCO, 03/2012
Visiting Scholar on Copyright, Brigham Young University, 11/2011
Copyright Education Workshop, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, 09/2011
Copyright Triage for Faculty, West Kentucky Community & Technical College, 08/2011
Copyright Concepts, Minnesota Digital Library Meeting, 06/2011
Debunking the DMCA: DVDs and Digital Devices (with Scott Spicer), Library Technology Conference, 03/2011
Pre-conference Copyright Practicum, VRA/ARLIS+NA Conference, 03/2011