Library rules and regulations
Copying, printing and copyright in libraries
Nearly all libraries have a photocopier. Some libraries have computers with scanners so you can make electronic copies. There are charges for copying and printing.
These pages will guide you through what you can copy and how much you can copy. See our printing charges page for details of costs.
There are limits on what you can copy under copyright law. This includes photocopying and scanning items, and downloading and printing documents from the Internet.
Copying may only be carried out if it is:
- fair dealing (not substantial)
- for private study or research for a non-commercial purpose
- a single copy.
Where you quote from work you have copied, or use copies of illustrations, you should acknowledge the author or source.
Check copyright notices on publications and websites to see if explicit permission has been given to make more copies than listed below. See the national guidance on copyright.
1 complete chapter to a maximum of 5% of the work.
- Short books
Up to 10% or 20 pages, whichever is lesser.
1 article from an issue or if a very small item, one A4 or the contents page.
Only when in a collection or anthology to a maximum of 10 pages.
Short extracts for study only, not for performance.
Only if they illustrate or form part of an article or extract.
Only for private or domestic use.
- Yellow Pages
1 page or one classified section.
- Electoral registers
Full register after December 2001 must not be photocopied.
Full register up to and including February 2001 has no restrictions.
Edited register must not be photocopied but handwritten notes can be made.
During copyright period up to 4 copies of a single A4 sized extract for non-commercial research or private study – Ordnance Survey maps are in copyright for 50 years after the year of publication, and Goad plans (shopping centre maps) are in copyright for 70 years after the year of publication.
- Government publications
The following publications can be copied without restriction unless for personal or commercial gain – Hansard, bills, acts, statutory instruments, statutory rules and orders, command papers, reports of Select Committees and press releases.