Interoperable System of Controlled Digital Lending

Public Comment Period Now Closed

The comment period for the draft Recommended Practice, NISO RP-44-202X, Controlled Digital Lending was open from March 21 - April 21, 2024 and is now closed.

Comments submitted are public

The IS-CDL Working Group will review all comments in order to finalize the draft for approval and publication. 

Background on Working Group

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is a method that allows libraries to replicate the right to loan their legally acquired items in a digital format to patrons under controlled conditions, and that has grown in application in recent years. Through CDL, libraries use technical controls to ensure a consistent "owned to loaned" ratio, meaning the library circulates the exact number of copies of a specific title it owns, regardless of format, putting controls in place to prevent users from redistributing or copying the digitized version. 

As with any expansion of an existing service, there are new elements, features, and practices that need to be developed to adapt traditional circulation and ILL activities, policies, and infrastructure to the requirements of CDL.  This proposal outlines a project to develop a consensus framework in support of controlled digital lending of book content by libraries, to be published as a NISO Recommended Practice. This framework will describe existing practice and define best practices for many aspects of this relatively new service model. Through a NISO consensus process, the outcomes will expand understanding of CDL as a natural extension of existing rights held and practices undertaken by libraries for content they legally hold. 

The NISO IS-CDL Working Group began its work in January 2022. 


Committee Roster


Allen Jones

Director, Digital Library & Technical Services, Library
The New School


Mark Allcock

Director - Product Management
EBSCO Information Services

Peter Brantley

Director, Online Strategy
University of California, Davis Library

Robert Cartolano

Assoc. Vice President, Technology and Preservation
Columbia University Libraries

Kyle Courtney

Director, Copyright and Information Policy
Harvard University

Scarlet Galvan

Collection Strategist Librarian
Grand Valley State University Libraries

Gerri Moeller

Associate Director for Resource Sharing and Delivery

Nathan Robertson

Director of Information Policy and Management and Lecturer in Law
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law


Mark Dehmlow

Director, Library Information Technology
Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame