May 25, 2022

Controlled Digital Lending in Canada: “Protecting Unique Canadiana Works” at the Hamilton Public Library

From an Internet Archive Blog Post by Lila Bailey:

The Hamilton Public Library in the Canadian province of Ontario has nearly two dozen branches. Providing digital content to users in geographically remote areas is one of many reasons that the library has recently embraced Controlled Digital Lending, the digital equivalent of traditional library lending.


“It’s such an environmentally friendly, cost effective way of making titles available,” said Paul Takala, CEO/Chief Librarian of the library. “If we digitize it, somebody doesn’t have to go to the library to get it and we don’t have to ship books around. It just makes a lot of sense.”


“Now we have the technology to share so many stories from so many voices through this platform to anybody 24/7, ” said Lisa Weaver, Director of Collections & Program Development at the library. “The preservation of books that CDL allows us to do and access that CDL allows us to provide is invaluable.”

When Hamilton joined Open Libraries, it was able to identify 53,000 books in its physical holdings that Internet Archive had already digitized. Those books were added to Open Libraries to increase lending counts for those titles.

Learn More, Read the Complete Blog Post

More on Controlled Digital Lending: Closing the Access Gap in Rural Maryland


Libraries and Library Organizations Sign-On to “Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books” Position Statement


“A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books” & “Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending” (September 28, 2018)

Will ‘Controlled Digital Lending’ Spark the Next Big Copyright Lawsuit? (by Andrew Albanese, PW)

The Implications of the ReDigi Decision for Libraries (by Jonathan Band, via ARL Policy Briefs)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.