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. We will update this space periodically as the work progresses.