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Library Excerpt Service

The OrigamiUSA Lending Library provides an excerpt service to current OrigamiUSA members. An excerpt is a single diagram, short article, or other small portion of a published work.

Upon request, and within certain limits, OrigamiUSA will provide members excerpts from the Lending Library collection at no charge, in the form of a PDF file. Here's how it works.

Submitting a Request

The Library Excerpt service is currently on hiatus, pending appointment of a new Lending Library manager. If you would be interested in taking it over, please send an email to lending-library [at]

Some common questions and answers are listed below. If you have other questions, please contact us at lending-library [at]


How can you do this? You know, copyright and all that?

Under US Copyright Law, there is a doctrine called "Fair Use" that allows limited copying of materials in particular circumstances. We have modeled our practices after those of university libraries who have well-qualified legal staff that have studied this issue and formulated the policies that they (and now we) follow. See, for example, here.

How much can I request?

Fair Use generally doesn't allow distribution of copies of entire books. Based on the practices of the libraries we've looked at and our own technical limitations, here's our policy for any given individual:

  • Model diagrams: no more than one diagram from any book, journal issue, or periodical.
  • Articles: No more than one article from a journal or periodical.
  • Book: No more than one chapter.
  • Any of the above: No more than 25 pages.

How often can I make a request?

At present, the service is limited to no more than one request per month. Over time, we hope to raise this limit.

Is the distribution copy-protected?

No. Like our purchased downloads, the files are not copy-protected. They are watermarked with your particular credentials, but we mostly rely on the honesty of our users to refrain from posting them online (and we've been gratified to find that with our purchased downloads, origami folk have been very honest!)

If I'm looking for a model, how do I find out where it is published?

Please don't ask us to find it for you! You need to find the publication yourself.

For locating diagrams, we highly recommend the Oriwiki, the largest database of published origami instructions anywhere. Once you've found what book it's in, look through our Lending Library to see if the book is in the collection. If we have it, then you can fill out a request form.

If the book I want isn't in your Lending Library, can you obtain it?

We're not currently part of any inter-library loan programs, and our budget for new acquisitions is very small; we are unable to provide excerpts from publications other than those in the Lending Library collection.