International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) backs Controlled Digital Lending

Last week, the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) voiced its strong support for the longstanding and widespread library practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). In doing so, they join a host of libraries and library associations in asserting the right of libraries to own, digitize and lend materials online.

IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need to be able to provide digital access to library collections and CDL provides an effective, lawful tool for doing so. IFLA writes that CDL helps “to fulfill the mission of libraries to support research, education and cultural participation within the limits of existing copyright laws.”

IFLA’s Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, which was approved by IFLA’s Governing Board in May 2021, builds on the U.S.-oriented Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, which has been endorsed by 55 institutions and 120 individual copyright experts and librarians, bringing the discussion into the international context. IFLA’s Statement makes a powerful economic and legal case for supporting CDL in all countries around the world.

According to the Statement:

“Licensed eBooks have opened the door to a radical undermining of the traditional public interest functions and freedoms of libraries. These still exist for paper books, but with the advent of licensed eBooks, libraries are no longer free to decide when or what to purchase, with some publishers even refusing to sell to libraries. Controlled digital lending provides an alternative to a licensing approach, and so a means of redressing the balance.”

The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program is powered by CDL and we welcome the continued and growing support of other libraries. As many libraries remain closed across the globe, millions of digitized books are still available for free to be borrowed by learn-at-home students and readers everywhere.

3 thoughts on “International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) backs Controlled Digital Lending

  1. Barry J Brown

    Controlled Digital Lending has been a God send to many that are in the grip of CV-19 and also the elderly and infermed that find it difficult to get to the libraires.
    You would think that the author could make it a condition that CDL is part of their release and not give total control to the publishing house.
    Thanking you for the great work your organisation is doing for the learning of all nations.
    Barry Brown.

  2. Dan C Clayberger

    I strongly support Controlled Digital Lending. Every library card holder should join in support of you efforts.

    Dan Clayberger

  3. Pingback: Global Voice for Libraries Supports Controlled Digital Lending - Jackson Library

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