Encouraging Flexibility in Our Approach to Copyright

An Interview with Nancy Sims

  • Sara Schumacher Texas Tech University
  • Nancy Sims University of Minnesota
Keywords: interview, open access, AI, equity, copyright, fair use, artificial intelligence, OA


In this interview, Nancy Sims, Director of Copyright & Scholarly Communication at the University of Minnesota Libraries, delves into current topics in copyright and scholarly communication including open access, fair use, and artificial intelligence (AI). Her assured and succinct answers reveal the ways visual resources professionals can thrive within the changing legal and cultural intellectual property landscape by employing “flexible mindsets.” Sims acknowledges that the nuances within copyright law are difficult for humans to reckon with, but she finds hopeful paths forward even within the gray areas. We are all creators and users. Can that be our superpower as we advocate for equity and accessibility in our professional and personal lives?

Author Biographies

Sara Schumacher, Texas Tech University

Sara Schumacher is the Architecture Image Librarian at the Architecture Library at Texas Tech University Libraries.

Nancy Sims, University of Minnesota

Nancy Sims is the University of Minnesota Library’s subject specialist on copyright issues. Nancy is both librarian and lawyer, with long experience working in academic libraries, and is fascinated by the pervasiveness of copyright issues in modern life. Nancy's role at UMN is to help individuals and groups understand how copyright affects their work across all the breadth of creative outputs at a large University. At UMN and beyond, Nancy advocates for policies and practices that support sustainable scholarship, democratic information access, and wide public cultural participation.