Controlled Digital Lending Steering Committee

The consortial CDL implementation is governed through the leadership of a CDL Steering Committee whose membership is representative of the BLC’s diverse member libraries and stakeholder communities. The CDL Steering Committee reports to the BLC’s Board of Directors, collaborates with the BLC Communities to enact elements of the implementation plan, and is responsible for ongoing assessment and evaluation.


In September 2020, the BLC Board of Directors convened a CDL Working Group charged with investigating delivery mechanisms, technology, workflows, policies, copyright and legal issues, shared storage solutions, and other actions related to a potential consortial implementation of CDL among interested BLC member libraries.

The Working Group consisted of fourteen representatives from eleven member libraries and the BLC’s Executive Director. For almost twelve months, the Working Group researched the national and global CDL landscape, engaged extensively with the BLC community, and consulted with a range of external organizations working in the CDL space.

At its August 2021 meeting, the BLC Board of Directors approved the recommendations of the Working Group to implement CDL as a mechanism for interlibrary loan (ILL) among interested member libraries and the creation of the CDL Steering Committee to govern consortial CDL for ILL implementation. The recommendations of the CDL Working Group are outlined in a report, 'Consortial CDL: Implementing Controlled Digital Lending as a Mechanism for Interlibrary Loan' published in September 14, 2021. Read the full announcement here.

Implementation Plan

The BLC’s implementation plan, commencing in September 2021, consists of three phases: (1) preparation and advocacy, (2) (opt-in) implementation, and (3) assessment.

During Phase I, the CDL Steering Committee will develop fully-articulated consortium-wide CDL best practices and service standards, identify an initial title list to seed the shared repository, partner with the library community in the development of interoperable technology infrastructure, develop copyright guidance in collaboration with legal scholars and legal counsel from the member institutions, and design a framework for assessment and evaluation.

During Phase II, the CDL Steering Committee will lead the implementation of the technology solution developed in Phase I and support libraries interested in adopting it. Phase III will include a formal assessment of the consortial CDL implementation to evaluate impacts for member libraries and their patrons. During Phase III, the CDL Steering Committee will also develop recommendations for continued evolution of the BLC’s CDL implementation, including support for local CDL implementation for course reserves and other use cases.

Whenever possible throughout this implementation, the BLC will collaborate with other consortia who are implementing CDL to engage in shared exploration of best practices, assessment frameworks, and long-term visioning for consortial CDL.


Nathan Mealey, Associate University Librarian for Discovery and Access at Wesleyan University (co-chair)

K. Zdepski, Resource Sharing Librarian at University of Massachusetts – Amherst (co-chair)

Viral Amin, Reference Librarian for Electronic Resources at Bentley University

Yueqing Chen, Head of Library Systems and Discovery Services at University of Massachusetts - Boston

Brenda Cummings, Director of Public Services at Brandeis University

Brian Gallagher, Head of Access Services at University of Rhode Island

Martha Kelehan, Assistant Director of Research and Learning at Tufts University

Kimberly Kowal, Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning at Boston College

Jonathan Miller, Director of Libraries at Williams College (board liaison)

Alison O’Grady, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor at Williams College

Michael Rodriguez, Collections Strategist at University of Connecticut

Steve Smith, Collection Development Librarian at University of Massachusetts – Boston

Patrick Yott, Associate University Librarian for Infrastructure at Northeastern University

Charlie Barlow, Executive Director at Boston Library Consortium