LYRASIS and Columbia University Libraries are pleased to announce the members of the Advisory Board for the newly formed Virtual Copyright Education Center. As previously announced, LYRASIS and Columbia University Libraries are joining forces to pilot the new program which will introduce a robust progressive curriculum designed to enable cultural heritage professionals to move beyond a basic understanding of copyright

New members of the Advisory Board are:

Mikka Gee Conway is former Associate General Counsel at the J. Paul Getty Trust and a specialist in copyright law as it pertains to museums, libraries, and archives.  She has taught intellectual property law to MLIS students at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and served since 2017 on the faculty of the annual Legal Issues in Museum Administration conference.  Before studying law, Mikka was a curator and later assistant director at the J. Paul Getty Museum and then assistant director at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  

Kyle K. Courtney is an attorney, librarian, and the first Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, working out of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard Library. In this role he works closely with the Harvard community to establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright issues among staff, faculty, and students. His Copyright First Responders (CFR) copyright training program is in its 7th year at Harvard. The CFR program has spread beyond its origins at Harvard to train and form CFR communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington. Kyle has worked as the Copyright and Information Policy Advisor for HarvardX, was named a National Academic Library Mover & Shaker, helped coordinate and launch Fair Use Week, and was awarded a Knight grant to develop a web-based “Fair Use and Copyright Tool.” He is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on the topic of copyright, technology, libraries, and the law. His blog is at and you can follow him on Twitter @KyleKCourtney  

Rina Elster Pantalony obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science with Honors from Dalhousie University at Halifax, Canada and her JD from the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. She practiced intellectual property law with the Department of Justice, Canada, as principal intellectual property counsel to the Library and Archives of Canada. Prior experience also includes an appointment as director of licensing for a joint Internet venture between The Tate, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and legal counsel to the Virtual Museum of Canada, an online exhibition partnership between the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and Canada’s museums.

For ten years until 2014, she was faculty in the Moving Image Archive Preservation Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where she taught courses in copyright law and policy.  From 2013 until 2019, Ms. Elster Pantalony chaired the Legal Affairs Committee of the International Council of Museums and is recognized as an expert in intellectual property management for cultural heritage organizations by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Her publication, Managing Intellectual Property for Museums, a second edition, was published by WIPO in 2013. Ms. Elster Pantalony was appointed Director of Copyright Advisory Services, Columbia University in the fall of 2014.

Sharon E. Farb is the Associate University Librarian for special collections and international collaborations and the chief policy strategist for the UCLA Library. She leads the units that enhance and unlock the Library’s rare and unique materials and guides the Library’s government relations and public policy efforts. Farb is a national leader on the role of the public research library in organizing and preserving knowledge and spearheaded the Library’s development of its Open Scholarship and Collections Policy. Farb is active internationally on freedom of expression, information justice and preservation of cultural heritage. 

David Hansen Dave Hansen is responsible for Duke University Libraries’ general research services and collections. His division of the library includes support for Duke researchers across the scholarly communication lifecycle, from the development of the library collections in anticipation of researcher information needs, access and delivery of materials to users, guidance on information access and research techniques, and support in creating and disseminating research and evaluating its real-world impact. His background is in intellectual property law. Before coming to Duke he was Clinical Assistant Professor and Faculty Research Librarian at UNC School of Law. Before that, he was a fellow at UC Berkeley Law in its Digital Library Copyright Project. His law degree is from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he also earned his M.S. in Library Science. His B.S. in Economics is from UNC Charlotte, which is near his hometown of Belmont, NC. 

Carla Myers serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Scholarly Communications for the Miami University Libraries. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Akron and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. She is the managing editor of the Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship and her first book, Copyright and Course Reserves Legal Issues and Best Practices for Academic Libraries, is being published by ABC-CLIO in 2021. Her professional presentations and publications focus on fair use, copyright in the classroom, and library copyright issues. She is also the founder and coordinator of the Miami University Libraries annual copyright conference. 

Melissa Smith Levine directs the Copyright Office at the University of Michigan Library. Her professional experience spans museums, archives and libraries — including the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress. Before joining the University of Michigan, she served as curator for the World Bank Art Program and worked at Florida International University as associate director for finance and administration for the Wolfsonian Museum and as acting director of the Frost Art Museum. She works closely with the campus community to develop responsible approaches to copyright that support transformative learning experiences and strategic priorities. She provides policy and planning expertise to the campus community and the  HathiTrust Digital Library. Melissa teaches a course on intellectual property and policy for the MSI program at the  University of Michigan School of Information and taught for the Johns Hopkins masters in museum studies program. Melissa received the ALA’s L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award on behalf of a collaborative initiative to identify works in the public domain in research libraries. Made possible by support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Finding the Public Domain: A Copyright Toolkit documents the work.

To build on the work of the new Advisory Board, an initial copyright course will be made free of charge and distributed publicly. Advanced classes will be distributed through LYRASIS Learning, the LYRASIS online continuing education platform for libraries and knowledge professionals worldwide. The pilot will include business planning with the goal of developing a sustainable service model and will be the first pilot delivered through the new Research and Innovation division of LYRASIS. Click here to learn more.