How Controlled Digital Lending Makes an Entire College Library Available to Everyone Everywhere

How Controlled Digital Lending Makes an Entire College Library Available to Everyone Everywhere

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First Sale and Fair Use

The ideas of First Sale and Fair Use are key legal concepts that play into the core role of libraries and of Controlled Digital Lending. These concepts allow buyers of any item to use it as they see fit whether that means reselling it, lending it, or disposing of it. Libraries utilize the concept of First Sale to loan out books to patrons; First Sale points to the copy of the book originally purchased by the library which can then be borrowed by anyone.

Marygrove College Library Contributions

One amazing story about Controlled Digital Lending is from Marygrove College, a Detroit-based school that closed in 2019. The college’s library, Gerschke Library, had amassed a collection of more than 70,000 books and journals, many of which offered unique African American perspectives that reflected the cultural and historical components of the Detroit community. The Board of Trustees decided to digitize the entire collection by donating it to the Internet Archive which is a non-profit library that has millions of books, movies, software, and music available for free to use.

Roles and Benefits of Controlled Digital Lending

Controlled Digital Lending is playing an important role as a tool for sharing knowledge. In cases like Marygrove College, CDL will allow generations of learners to continue to access the library’s book collection long after the library’s existence. Especially when it comes to insightful materials specific to that area of Detroit, it is important that everyone, whether now or in the future, is able to use this to build upon their own knowledge and perspective.

Preserving Knowledge and Democratization of Access

Controlled Digital Lending can significantly lower the barriers of access to scholarship and learning. We can easily see this in cases like Marygrove College, where a precious library collection was able to be preserved and protected. CDL has served many purposes in our society. It is not only a convenient way of delivering library services and resources, it has made print materials more discoverable and given new life to print materials that have been out of circulation for decades. Not to mention, CDL also opens up access to those with physical disabilities, meaning more people have a chance at equal access to materials. New CDL practices are being built in libraries and archives and it is obvious that this work is a successful way of expanding access to knowledge.