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University Library Policies

Controlled Digital Lending Policy

Approved: 6/1/2021

Responsible Administrator: Associate Dean, University Library

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FGCU University Library now circulates its physical collections electronically to facilitate normal usage of library resources to all users, whether they are able to physically visit the library or not, and whether a resource has a digital version or not.

How this works

Although users can rapidly scan resources themselves, we have designed a process of delivering materials digitally that approximates traditional borrowing. That is: when someone receives a digital item, no one else may use that resource, either physically or virtually. This follows these basic steps:

  1. A library user requests a physical library resource using our online form.
  2. The library will remove the physical item from circulation for the period of the loan.
  3. The library scans resource and delivers it to the user as a Secure PDF (.PDC) file that requires the LockLizard Secure PDF Viewer.
  4. This digital PDC file is accompanied by a license file that limits usage to the given user and for a certain time period. For reserve materials, the shortest loan period is a day.
  5. Once the time period for the digital loan has expired, the item is returned to the shelf to circulate as normal again.

The University Library and FGCU Information Technology Services have made the Secure PDF Viewer available on all library lab PCs. We can fully support usage of these files on these systems. Although we believe you should be able to download and use this software on your own device (Mac, PC, Android, iOS), we do not have the resources to provide technical support in installing this product, should something go wrong.

In-Library Digitization

As an alternative to this lending service, users may utilize our public KIC scanner, located adjacent to our Circulation Desk. This self-service solution is quick and easy, and items may be returned as soon as you have scanned what you need. See the circulation desk or email for more information!

Grant Support

This service is the result of a project funded by the provisions of the Division of Library and Information Services (DLIS) Florida CARES Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida’s DLIS CARES act program is administered by the Department of State’s Division of Library and information Services.


The FGCU University Library follows best-practice guidelines in implementing this service. We will only scan length-limited sections of whole works, and the original print works will be removed from circulation for the duration of the digital loan. Some selected reading about controlled digital lending:

Hansen, D. R., & Courtney, K. K. (2018). A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books [Preprint]. LawArXiv.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. (2019, October 17). Opening up reach of libraries with controlled digital lending.