Bryan M. Carson Webpage

Bryan M. Carson
Professor and Coordinator of Research Instruction, Grants, & Assessment
Department of Library Public Services
Western Kentucky University Libraries

Picture of Bryan Carson 906 Cravens Library,
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11067
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11067
Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-1067
Phone: (270) 745-5007
FAX: (270) 745-2275
Email: or

Legal Website:
Selected Works Site:

Philosophy of Pedagogy

Education | | Research | Public Service | Awards


Position Description

I have been a member of the Department of Library Public Services faculty since 1999. I am responsible for coordinating and overseeing the library instruction program for WKU libraries. Since 2009, I have also been in charge of writing and administering grants, surveys, assessment, and special projects. From 1999-2011 I was Coordinator of Reference & Instructional Services.

I supervise the Periodicals unit, and am the collection Development/teaching subject librarian and liaison for  Philosophy, Religion, Computer Science, Leadership Studies, the School of University Studies, the ALIVE Center, and the Institute of Citizenship & Social Responsibility.

Courses Taught

Associated faculty member in the Library Media Education program in the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Special Instructional Programs. Courses taught include:


My major research interests are copyright and intellectual property, privacy issues, law & religion, and legal issues in librarianship. In December 1999, I was appointed Editor of the "Legally Speaking" column in the journal Against the Grain.

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.


Finding the Law: Legal Research for Librarians and Paralegals (Scarerow Press, 2011).
Legal research has traditionally been taught as an afterthought. Law students, librarians, and paralegals are generally taught in three very different ways—despite the fact that all three groups need to know the same information. However, these three philosophies of teaching legal research mask the fact that all three fields can benefit from the other approaches. This book is intended to bring together the three philosophies under one cover. My goal is to bring legal reasoning and “thinking like a lawyer” to paralegals and librarians, while simultaneously teaching procedure for librarians and research sources for paralegals.

The Law of Libraries & Archives (Scarecrow Press, 2007).
The goal of this book is to explain legal concepts in plain English so that librarians and archivists will be able to understand the principles that affect them on a daily basis. Some of the issues included in the book include contracts, copyright and patent law, fair use, the TEACH Act, trademark law, licensing of databases, information malpractice and professionalism, privacy issues and the PATRIOT Act, employment law, and the basics of starting a non-profit organization. For more information, See the Website for The Law of Libraries & Archives. The first chapter of the book, Libraries and the U.S. Legal System, is available online.

Book Chapter

Bryan M. Carson. Ask a J.D. . . .’ FAQs on Fair Use and Intellectual Property Issues. In Laura McGee (ed.), Teaching with film across the curriculum (Bowling Green, KY: Western Kentucky University Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching), 15 pp. (2008).


In December 1999, I was appointed Editor and Columnist of the “Legally Speaking” column in the journal Against the Grain, a peer-reviewed journal for librarians, publishers, and book distributors. Here is a list of my articles for Against the Grain:



Book Reviews in The International Journal of Educational Advancement, Legal Information Alert, Research Advisor, Law Library Journal, and Law Library Xchange.

Papers Presented

Public Service

I was the 2007 recipient of the Faculty Award for Public Service for Western Kentucky University Libraries & Information Technology. This honor recognized my service to the university, the library, and the profession.

Guest Editor for Symposium Issue: Symposium Issue on Intellectual Property Licensing, Against the Grain, September 2007.
Responsible for choosing topics, recruiting authors, and editing work. Wrote two articles for issue: The Importance of Intellectual Property Licensing in 21st Century Libraries, 19-4 Against the Grain pp. 1, 16 [Introductory article for the symposium issue], and Electronic Reserves and the Failed CONFU Guidelines: A Place to Start Negotiations, 19-4 Against the Grain pp. 30, 32, 34.

Admitted to practice law in the Ohio Bar (1990) and Kentucky Bar (1991).

Public Service for National/State Organizations:

Public Service for Western Kentucky University

Public Service for Western Kentucky University Libraries

Public Services for the Department of Library Public Services

Public Service for the Library Media Education Program

Community Public Service

Web-based Materials

I have written or compiled the following materials, available on the World Wide Web: