Introduction

As the parent of two New York City public school students and as a CUNY student myself, I’ve seen how often students need to use images in their work, for posters, presentations, and written assignments. However, students don’t always know where to look for images that are free to use. In fact, sometimes students don’t even know that some images aren’t free to use. And students often don’t know how to give proper credit to the creators of the images they use.

My hope in this guide is to give you clear and helpful information on finding and using images for your schoolwork and other creative projects. The guide has three parts. The first part goes over the basics of why some images are free to use and some are not. The second part shows you where and how you can find images to use. And the third part tells you about some best practices for using images, including giving credit to creators.

This guide was produced as the final project for the Creative Commons Certificate course in summer 2022. I want to thank Ann Fiddler and Andy McKinney for making my participation in this certification course possible, Jen Hughes for her guidance as the facilitator of the course, and Elizabeth Arestyl for all that I’ve learned from and with her in our OER fellowship at the Office of Library Services. Additionally, I want to thank my older child, a rising high school student, for reviewing the text for clarity. Any errors and faults in this work, of course, are mine alone.

Cover image by Yeh Xintong via Unsplash