Free Webinar: “Future Thinking” about Controlled Digital Lending: ASERL’s CDL Resource Guide

by | May 7, 2021 | 0 comments


This session was recorded live on Wednesday, June 9.

Description: Controlled Digital Lending (CDL),  which enables a library to circulate a digitized title in place of a physical one in a controlled manner, is an idea that has been kicking around libraries since at least 2011. CDL became more important during 2020 as libraries closed due to the pandemic, allowing libraries to digitize print books and lend the digital version to their remote patrons.

ASERL facilitated discussions with their members around CDL, which resulted in a small group of ASERL member librarians drafting guidance for thinking through CDL, since it’s not a risk-free option. Future Thinking: ASERL’s Resource Guide to Controlled Digital Lending for Research Libraries was created and distributed in spring 2021 to meet that need. It is designed to be a bridge between the legal rationales for CDL and the hands-on, how-to-make-this-work discussions of the CDL-Implementers group and The CIRC Project.  It highlights the importance of Fair Use principles, assessing the institution’s risk tolerance, and introductory information about available technologies.  It is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License at


  • John Burger, Executive Director, Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)
  • Lisa A. Macklin, Associate Dean, Research, Engagement, and Scholarly Communications, Emory University Libraries
  • Robin N. Sinn, Coordinator, Office of Scholarly Communication, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
  • Tucker Taylor, Library Futures (board member), and CoEditor in Chief, Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship
  • Robyn Weisman, Director of Resource Sharing, Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University


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