Controlled Digital Lending: Unlocking the Library's Full Potential
peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-09-02
"Controlled digital lending works exactly as the name implies: it is a controlled, digital form of the traditional library lending system. Under CDL, libraries generally lend digitized versions of print materials from their collections, strictly limiting them to a single digital copy per physical copy owned—a one-to-one “owned-to-loaned” ratio. If a library owns two physical copies of The Giving Tree, it only loans out two copies at any time, whether physically or digitally. This maintains the same limits as traditional book lending but enables access digitally. Digital access is especially important for those who live or work far from their closest library or whose work, childcare, or school schedules make physical access during business hours challenging. Communities rely on libraries to serve as a hub for education and knowledge. CDL (1) drives economic efficiency by maximizing returns on tax dollars, (2) expands reliable and equitable education, (3) promotes civil rights for marginalized communities, and (4) improves access through digitization. Congress should support their communities by empowering libraries to serve as a meaningful access point for these publicly funded collections by: ● Supporting legislation that codifies the practice of CDL by libraries.2 ● Encouraging funding through grant programs and other incentives to facilitate CDL. ● Promoting the development of a federal, centralized set of digital materials for use in CDL programs...."