Jerusalem, Israel—August 19, 2021. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is happy to announce the development of new functions that will increase the compatibility of the company's library software solutions with controlled digital lending. Controlled digital lending (CDL) is a practice that enables libraries to lend a digital copy of a physical resource in a "lend like print" manner—that is, in the same way in which they lend the physical resource itself.
The Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries group has defined three "core principles" of CDL: "A library must own a legal copy of the physical book, either by purchase or gift; the library must maintain an ‘owned to loaned' ratio, simultaneously lending no more copies than it legally owns; the library must use technical measures to ensure that the digital file cannot be copied or redistributed".
CDL enables libraries to cater to patrons with differing needs, such as a print disability or difficulty in accessing a library building. CDL also gives patrons the option to borrow books in a manner that suits them.
In August 2021, a new tool was released as part of Ex Libris Alma Digital, enabling a librarian to easily make CDL resources available for short-term use. The key principle of CDL is maintaining the own-to-loan ratio between the number of copies—both digital and physical—that the library holds and the number of concurrent copies in circulation.
To adhere to that principle, the librarian sets parameters for the number of concurrent users and the amount of time that the patron may use the resource. When the number of copy limit is met, students can register for the resource's waiting list and be automatically notified when their turn comes. Technical mechanisms enable the library to prevent redistribution of the resource.
In addition to CDL functionalities that are already part of Ex Libris solutions, the company is planning to implement CDL for general circulation loans, and through the Ex Libris Rapido discovery-to-delivery resource sharing platform.
Ex Libris maintains a strategy of working with its customer community to ensure that the company's solutions address customers' needs. A community-led advisory group has been established to create a roadmap for implementing more CDL capabilities in Ex Libris products. The advisory group members bring to the table a broad range of expertise on CDL workflows and copyright issues.
Ex Libris Vice President of Resource Management Solutions Tamar Sharir Beiser explained, "Facilitating access to library resources is becoming an increasingly important topic for libraries around the world and Ex Libris goal is to offer libraries the option to incorporate CDL into their workflows."
"In this respect, Ex Libris solutions are ideal," continued Sharir Beiser, "as they store both physical assets and digital assets together in one system, thus allowing for easy integration. We view CDL's role in our products as an important move forward and hope that it will help libraries accommodate more patrons, such as those with disabilities, physical access limitations, research efficiency needs, and more."
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is a leading global provider of cloud-based SaaS solutions that enable institutions and their individual users to create, manage, and share knowledge. In close collaboration with its customers and the broader community, Ex Libris develops innovative solutions that increase library productivity, maximize the impact of research activities, enhance teaching and learning, and drive student mobile engagement. Ex Libris serves over 7,500 customers in 90 countries. For more information, see our website and join us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.