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About Bryan M. Carson

I am a lawyer, librarian, author, educator, and copyright guru. I was Research Instruction, Grants, & Assessment Coordinator at Western Kentucky University Libraries from 2011-2018, and Reference & Instructional Services Coordinator from 1999-2011. I have also worked at Hamline University College of Law Library (1996-1999) and New York Public Library (1993-1996).


<li>Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership & Policy (2009). Vanderbilt University, Peabody College of Education, Nashville, Tennessee.
Capstone Title: "Career Trajectories and Outcomes of PhD Recipients from the Vanderbilt University College of Arts & Sciences."</li>
* Master of Information & Library Science (1993). University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
* J.D. (Juris Doctor) Law (1990). University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
Thesis Title: The Antitrust Implications of Airline Mergers.
* B.A. Economics (1986). Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.
* A.A. Pre-Arts (1985). Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan.

In Spring 2010, I developed and taught an online course entitled “Legal & Ethical Issues in Instructional Design” under a work for hire contract. This was one of the first online classes in the U.S. to cover intellectual property, licensing, and cyber ethics. Between 2000 and 2003, I taught several graduate in-person and online courses as an adjunct for WKU’s Library Media Education Master’s degree program, which is recognized by NCATE/CAEP/AASL Classes taught included: Reference Sources and Services (Graduate Classroom, 2001-2002; Online, 2002-2004); Reference and Bibliography (Undergraduate Classroom, 2001); The Library in Society (Graduate Seminar, 2000).

My major research interests are copyright and intellectual property, privacy issues, intellectual freedom, cyber law, and legal issues in librarianship.

Books, Booklets, and Book Chapters
* The Law of Libraries and Archives. Scarecrow Press, 2007.
* Finding the Law: Legal Research for Librarians and Paralegals. Scarecrow Press, 2011 (Textbook).
* Carson, Bryan M. (2018). A selective literature review on the experiences of African graduate students in the United States. In Ogechi E. Anyanwu, Timothy Forde, and Iddah Otieno (eds.), Reevaluating the Black Experience in Higher Education in Africa and the United States: Struggles, Survival, and Successes. Eastern Kentucky University Libraries (in press).
Carson, Bryan M. (2013). Basic Copyright Exceptions for Educators (Booklet). Western Kentucky University Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching.
* Carson, Bryan M. (2008). “‘Ask a J.D. . . .’ FAQs on Fair Use and Intellectual Property Issues.” In Laura McGee (ed.), Teaching with film across the curriculum. WKU Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching.
Journal Articles
I have written 53 journal articles, co-authored 8, and written 4 encyclopedia articles, most of which are peer-reviewed. From 1999 to 2011, I was the “Legally Speaking” editor and columnist in Against the Grain, a peer-reviewed journal for librarians, publishers, and book distributors. A complete list of publications is attached.
Presentations, Lectures, & Exhibitions
I have presented, co-presented, or co-authored 13 peer-reviewed presentations and one poster session, and am frequently invited to lecture on copyright and intellectual property around the region. I moderated two WKU speaker series: Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War (2011; held in conjunction with an exhibition) and America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway (2013). I worked on two exhibitions, Religious Observance in Kentucky and Tennessee (Curator, 2002) and Living On: Portraits of Tennessee Holocaust Survivors and Liberators (Co-Curator, 2006). A complete list of presentations is attached.

In April 2004, I was awarded the Faculty Award for Research and Creativity for Western Kentucky University Libraries & Information Technology. This honor recognized a series of peer-reviewed articles in the journal Against the Grain on legal issues in librarianship, education, and intellectual property. I am also a 2007 recipient of the Faculty Award for Public Service for Western Kentucky University Libraries & Information Technology.


Coordinator of Research Insturction, Grants, & Assessment, Western Kentucky University ‐ University Libraries
Professor, Western Kentucky University ‐ University Libraries

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Librarianship, Intellectual Property Law, Technology Law, Education Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Information Literacy Instruction, Higher Education Policy, Leadership & Organizational Behavior, Religion Librarianship, Philosophy Librarianship, and Law & Religion

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Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Award for Scholarship, Research, or Creative Activity, Western Kentucky University Libraries, 2013
  • Faculty Award for Professional Service, Western Kentucky University Libraries, 2007
  • Faculty Award for Scholarship, Research, or Creative Activity, Western Kentucky University Libraries, 2004


2009 PhD, Vanderbilt University ‐ Higher Education Leadership & Policy
1993 MILS, The University Of Michigan
1990 JD, The University of Toledo
1986 Bachelor of Arts, Adrian College
1985 Associate of Arts, Ferris State University

Contact Information

101 Helm Library
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11067
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Phone: 270-745-5007
Fax: 270-745-2275


Intellectual Property (25)